Taipei Exhibition Brings Castiglione's Paintings Alive

Innovative technology is a new trend for exhibitions as it brings a whole new experience to visitors. The National Palace Museum in Taipei embraces the trend in its latest exhibition “Giuseppe Castiglione - Lang Shining New Media Art Exhibition”. The exhibition held in Songshan Feng-Tian Temple showcases Castiglione’s paintings in an avant-garde way by adopting augmented reality and installations. Let’s take a tour to get a glimpse of the Qing dynasty.

A portrait of Giuseppe Castiglione

Giuseppe Castiglione (also known as Lang Shining in Chinese) was an Italian Jesuit missionary when he first came to China. He later became an official court painter for Emperor Kangxi with his excellent painting skills. Fusing Western and Chinese styles, his paintings were greatly appreciated by three emperors - Kangxi (1661-1722), Yongzheng (1723-1735), and Qianlong (1736-1795).

Peacock Spreading Its Tail Feathers

A Peacock Made of Light: An Immersive Installation of the Peacock Spreading Its Tail Feathers

Castiglione’s famous artwork, Peacock Spreading Its Tail Feathers is reinterpreted with new media art using light and shadow, sound, and installation. The peacock installation is designed to perform a dance called “Spirit of the Peacock”, choreographed by famous dancer Yang Liping, vividly showing the painting in the reality. Animals come alive from the paintings. What about paintings of plant?

Gathering of Auspicious Signs and Vase of Flowers

Castiglione's Virtual Flowers

This augmented reality installation shows a 3D holographic image of Castiglione's Gathering of Auspicious Signs and Vase of Flowers. By simply holding a tablet near a pedestal, visitors can see virtual flowers from different angles through the tablet when they walk around the pedestal.

Auspicious Roe Deer

If you are not a fan of new media artworks, replica of the paintings is also available in its original form. The painting Auspicious Roe Deer in 1751 is among the selection. Its history can be dated back when Emperor Qianlong accompanied Empress Dowager Chongqing to a summer retreat. He saw a roe deer that “its fur as white as snow and eyes sparkling red” and believed that it is a symbol of good fortune and nobility. The year 1751 happened to be the Empress Dowager’s sixtieth birthday so Emperor Qianlong decided to present a painting of a row deer as the birthday gift. He then asked Castiglione to work on the painting and Emperor Qianlong composed “Poetry on Auspicious Deer” on it.

Poetry on Auspicious Roe Deer composed by Emperor Qianlong


Other selection at the exhibition

Golden Pheasants in Spring

Long-haired Dog Beneath Blossoms

White Bird of Prey


"Giuseppe Castiglione - Lang Shining New Media Art Exhibition"

Date: 2017/7/2 - 11/26
Time: 9:30am -5:00pm (closed on Monday)
Venue: The gallery, Visitor's Center B2, Songshan Feng-Tian Temple
Admission Fee: Free

Songshan Feng-Tian Temple

Opening hours: 5am - 9pm
Address: No.12, Ln. 221, Fude St., Xinyi Dist., Taipei City 110, Taiwan
Contact: +886 2 2727 9765