Bronze Vessels from the Donation of Late Mr. & Mrs. Chu Chong Yee


Date:2018-05-12 ~ 2018-05-20
Venue:No. 3 Exhibition Hall

       Mr. Chu Chong Yee (1917-2014), who also styled himself as Songfan and designated the studio garden ‘Jiu Ru Yuan’ (Garden of Nine Analogies), was a renowned Hong Kong businessman and collector born in Zhenhai, Ningbo. As a successful entrepreneur-cum-passionate devotee of Chinese culture, Mr. Chu Chong Yee’s vast collection of bronze, ceramics, calligraphy and paintings, scholars’ studio items and furniture was wide in range and high in quality. He was an important patron of the Shanghai Museum as well as a key figure among the Friends of Shanghai Museum.
   Since 1992, Mr. Chu Chong Yee had made several donations to the Shanghai Museum, which included antiquities of pottery figurines, sculptures, stone steles and bronze vessels, as well as state-of-the-art foreign equipment and facilities in four successions to support the construction of the Museum at the People’s Square. Mr. Chu Chong Yee also financed the construction of the Chinese Calligraphy Gallery in conjunction with C. L. Luk, D. C. W. Yeh, M. C. Tung and R. S. Q. Ku in 1994. Later that year, just as the Shanghai Museum could possibly miss a golden opportunity of buying a batch of rare bamboo slips from Hong Kong due to the exhaustion of its annual funding, Mr. Chu Chong Yee again lent a timely helping hand and joined forces with the abovementioned latter two patrons to acquire and donate the bamboo slips to the Museum. This benevolent act not only preserved the precious heritage in a proper venue, but also provided the ensuing academic study on Shanghai Museum’s bamboo slips a solid foundation thereafter.
   In accordance with the will of Mr. Chu Chong Yee and his wife Zee Wen Chu, the Chu family donated two bronze vessels of distinctive historical and artistic values to the Shanghai Museum in 2017, viz. a square Gu (wine vessel) with animal mask design of late Shang dynasty and a gilt square Hu (wine vessel) of marquis Xin Cheng of Western Han dynasty. The rarely-seen square Gu, as one of the particular favorites of Mr. Chu Chong Yee, should be instrumental in turning the Museum’s bronze collection into a more complete portfolio by filling the void in its current collection.
   The donation of the two bronze vessels by family members clearly demonstrates the loftiness and lasting exemplariness of late Mr. and Mrs. Chu Chong Yee. We hereby solemnly present for public viewing these two vessels as an expression of our heartfelt respect and appreciation of the couple’s benevolent contribution and unfailing support to the Shanghai Museum spanning nearly these past three decades.