CUHK Art Museum Presents ‘Phoenix Reborn: Chu Jades Excavated from Hubei’ Exhibition

The Art Museum of The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) presents the ‘Phoenix Reborn: Chu Jades Excavated from Hubei’ exhibition. The exhibition explores the impact of Chu culture through jade carving, featuring 158 pieces of jade excavated in Hubei Province from tombs dating from the Zhou Dynasties to the mid and late Warring States.

The Kingdom of Chu was one of the feudal states of the early Western Zhou Dynasty. Through the concerted endeavours of successive Chu rulers, the state underwent significant expansion and became one of the strongest powers in the Spring and Autumn Period, as well as the Warring States Period. At its peak, the territory of the Kingdom covered a vast area of southern China, amounting to half of the entire country. A distinct culture developed in that region, contrasting sharply with that of the Central Plain and coastal regions during the pre-Qin times. More importantly, Chu culture persisted in the Han Dynasty, influencing China for over eight hundred years.

Jade double-phoenix pendant in openwork, Warring States Period. 4.8 x 2.5 x 0.5 cm

Jiuliandun is by far the largest source of jades excavated from Chu tombs. Another tomb of Guojiamiao was awarded the ‘Top Ten Archaeological Finds in China’ twice, in 2015 and 2016. The exhibition, focusing mainly on the mid to late Warring States jades from Jiuliandun, explores the stylistic features of Chu jades and their development history. It also illuminates the relationship between Chu jades and the Central Plain jades originating in the Kingdom of Zeng.

Jade sword. Early Warring States Period. 33.6 x 5.1 x 0.5 cm

For the first time, these exhibits will be organised and displayed according to their unearthed locations, which will help shed light on burial practices and the function of burial jades in Chu culture. None of the objects in this exhibition has ever been exhibited outside mainland China before.

Jade hybrid dragon-phoenix pendant. Warring States Period. 6.8 x 2.9 x 0.3 cm

Jade pendant in the shape of three men standing on a hog. Warring States Period. 5.1 x 3 x 0.4 cm

To accompany the exhibition, the Art Museum is not only publishing an appreciation guide, but also organising symposia and inviting experts in jade from mainland China, Taiwan and Hong Kong to discuss their study and research. Arts Experience Workshops will be there for the public again and, through a combination of dramatic guided tours and arts creation, participants will experience a museum visit in a new fashion and develop a deeper sensitivity towards Chu jade. All the activities are free of charge. Places are allocated on a first-come-first-served basis.


Highlighted exhibits


Openwork jade pendant with dragon and phoenix. Early Warring States Period. 9.5 x 7.2 cm

Jade pendant in the shape of a winged man. Warring States Period. 13.8 x 3.5 x 1 cm

Jade hui-dragon pendant in openwork. Warring States Period. 4.5 x 2.9 x 0.3 cm


Jade hybrid dragon-phoenix pendant in openwork. Warring States Period. 2.6 x 4.4 x 0.3 cm

‘Phoenix Reborn: Chu Jades Excavated from Hubei’ Exhibition

Date: 2017/10/21 - 2018/2/25
Venue: Gallery II, Art Museum, The Chinese University of Hong Kong

Opening hours:
Mondays to Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays|10am - 5pm
Sundays and Public Holidays|1pm - 5pm
Thursdays (except Public Holidays), Christmas, New Year and Lunar New Year Holidays|Closed
Enquiries: +852 3943 7416
Free Admission