Exquisite Ornaments

Chrysanthemum and Dragon by Liang Yi Museum


兩依藏博物館靜靜地佇立在荷李活道,被多間中國古董店包圍著,如果走路時沒有留神,很容易就把那低調而簡約的博物館門口錯過了。最近,這所私人博物館舉辦了一個名為《菊與龍:十七至十九世紀中日東方藝術》的展覽,找來了接近兩百件日本工藝品,把江戶(1603-1868 年)至昭和時期(1926-1989 年)的文儀用品安放在兩層展覽空間內,圍繞中日書寫及吸煙文化兩個主題。於我而言,文具就像是一道防線,代表著生活中對細節的需求,從 Tombow 無文字包裝的膠擦(只有標誌性的藍白黑間紋)到 Midori 的筆記本,老早已經超越了文具本身的功能性。



地點:上環荷李活道 181 199 號兩依藏博物館
日期:即日起至 2019 8 31
開放時間星期二至星期六上午 10 下午 6
入場費港幣 $200(必須預約,包含導賞團)



Liang Yi Museum sits quietly on Hollywood Road surrounded by a number of antique shops. It can easily be missed if one did not intend to visit this low-profile museum. The museum is currently hosting an exhibition titled Chrysanthemum and Dragon: The Art of Ornamentation in Japan and China in the 17th – 19th Century that showcases over 180 Japanese objects that cover the time between Edo Period (1603-1868) until Showa Period (1926-1989). Spans over two stories, the exhibition features stationery, tobacco pipe, in addition to other objects. I always see stationary an indicator of one’s view towards lifestyle details. From the Tombow Mono Smart Eraser that is wrapped in the iconic striped sleeve in blue, white and black; to the Midori notebook, these items are as ornamental as they are functional.

The exhibition has vividly depicted the aesthetics of the 17th century. Among many of the exhibits, the yatate in various shapes are without a doubt one of the highlights. Yatate are Japanese writing sets that combine the function of a carrying box as well as an ink container. This small portable item can be found in numerous different designs, the reason for this can be traced back to the history of samurai. Yatate were very popular among the samurai caste, they, therefore, tended to personalize them into a decorative accessory. To name a few, firearms, meteor hammer and dagger are some of the beloved shapes for customizing yatate, some of them even come with a hanging ornament for an extravagant look. The making of yatate required a supreme technique of the chōnin, who were both merchants and craftsmen. The exquisite yatate and tobacco pipes are the best proof of the makers’ and users’ commitment to aesthetics and perfect details. It is absolutely impressive to see people from different eras and space sharing the same persistence.


Chrysanthemum and Dragon: The Art of Ornamentation in Japan and China in the 17th – 19th Century
Location: 181-199 Hollywood Road, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong
Date: 18th March, 2019 – 31st August, 2019
Opening Hours : Tuesday to Saturday, 10am to 6pm
Admission Fee : HK$200 includes a guided tour. Appointments are required.