As the deputy director of the Hong Kong Palace Museum, Dr Daisy Wang’s daily tasks might involve finding the perfect crate for a five-metre-long 17th-century Parisian tapestry to be shipped from the Louvre, or sourcing a glass case designed to keep centuries-old paintings at the optimal humidity. Add to this back-to-back morning meetings—sometimes three by 10am—and Wang, a small woman with a signature bob haircut, would be forgiven for showing sign of weariness; there are none. She tells Tatler enthusiastically: “We’re just so excited about the opening as we have all the good museum ingredients: a beautiful building, expensive cases and beautiful artworks.”
There are certainly reasons to be enthusiastic. When it opens in July, the HK$3.5 billion museum, funded by the Hong Kong Jockey Club, will be the new home to a total of 914 artefacts from the Beijing Palace Museum, 166 of which are grade I items. Dr Louis Ng, director of the Hong Kong Palace Museum, explains that the Chinese government rates the 64 million items in the collections of China’s 8,000 museums into three categories based on their historical significance; only 200,000 of them are grade I.
Among the pieces are two portrait sketches of a Qing dynasty empress, which have been restored and will be shown for the first time to the public. They had been kept in storage at the Beijing Palace Museum and only recently caught the attention of Wang—who is a specialist in Qing dynasty imperial portraits—during her research for the museum’s exhibitions.