Bronze vessels are precious works of traditional Chinese art but, owing to their academic importance and the difficulties of preservation, few can collect them. Because it is not easy to gain access to this art form, for centuries, enthusiasts have tried different techniques and methods attempting to reproduce the images of bronze vessels on paper. The earliest attempts to document such pieces on paper were mainly sketch drawings and rubbings. After the Ch'ien-chia period of the Ch’ing Dynasty (1736~1820 A.D.), a brass-rubbing technique that could transmit the entire shape of a bronze relic was developed. This technique, called “bronze image rubbing” (Ch’üan-hsing-t’a), was the most effective way to document the images of vessels before photography was used for bronze relic photo-shooting. In recent times, photography and other modern technologies have made it possible to document the images on film and through multimedia to represent 3D images of bronzes. All these techniques allow us to observe bronze vessels closely, and experience their magnificence and beauty.

This exhibition displays bronze image rubbings along with photographs of the original vessels. Our purpose is to allow the audience to compare different methods of representing a vessel, to observe bronze vessels through different angles to examine these treasures in detail through photographs, and to learn how to appreciate bronze image rubbings as an art form.