In the tradition of Blue
Fascination - The Art of Joan Miró and Pablo Picasso, Art of
Packaging in the Imperial Qing Dynasty, Mexican Pre-Hispanic
Art, Enamel Icons and other exhibitions with specialist
themes, the History of Steel in Eastern Asia provides a
unique perspective on five countries or geographical regions in Asia
that, while similar, have their very own identities.
The development of human civilization is like a raging river. In an
uninterrupted stream of creativity, our ancestors have discovered
and utilized metal to change the destiny of humankind, with its
development and crafting of epochal significance.
Those able to appreciate the importance of the transformation of
steel, or have witnessed a sword smith at work, will readily
understand how weapons, springing from the creativity of the Asian
mind, remain supremely artistic objects despite being rendered
obsolete in practical present day terms. Inherent in the edged
weapons on display in this unique exhibition, both in theme and in
scale, is the emergence, and divergence, of specific cultures,
apparent through the way the weapons are both formed and decorated.
I am sure that the numerous contacts that the Macao Museum of Art
has made over years of preparation will render this exhibition a
very special one, not only in the presentation of edged weapons but
in the understanding of their design in a time when they can be
fully appreciated as historical objects of art, regardless of their
state of conservation.
This exhibition could only take place through the unstinting efforts
of all contributors involved, both institutions and collectors. I
would like to take this opportunity, therefore, of extending my
sincere thanks to the Cultural Relics Administration Bureau of
Henan Province, Henan Museum, Zhengzhou Museum,
The Cultural Relics and Archaeology Research Institute of Henan
Province, The Museum of the Guo State of Sanmenxia,
Sanmenxia Museum, The Ministry of Culture & Tourism Republic
of Korea, The War Memorial of Korea, National Palace
Museum of Korea, Korea Army Museum, Korea University
Museum, Kyung-In Museum of Fine Art and all collectors
and participants who have helped in so many ways to present this
exhibition. These efforts have resulted in an exhibition of
unprecedented scale, with some 280 weapons on display; in addition,
the convergence of different cultures, united in their different
aspects, under one roof, reveal the wisdom and inherent creativity
of human beings for all to see.
It is through culture that people of different nations can
understand each other and cooperate in a common cause. By bringing
together different cultures, the Macao Museum of Art feels
that it has contributed in a small way to the reunion of five
different cultures represented by a wider spectrum of contributors.
Ung Vai Meng
Macao Museum of Art