‘Jadeite cabbage’ leads in voting for favorite Palace Museum piece

The China Post news staff

The China Post news staff–The latest results in an ongoing online poll conducted by the National Palace Museum (NPM) showed that the iconic “Jadeite cabbage with insects” was leading the vote for reigning national treasure, prized as the most valued piece of artwork in the museum. Interestingly, coming at second place is the calligraphic art, “Sunny after Snow” (快雪時晴帖) by artist Wang Xizhi, which reveals the growth in artistic appreciation of the Taiwan public for its support of ancient Chinese calligraphy, the museum said. In line with the Republic of China Centennial this year, the NPM rolled out an online poll asking the public to pick out the top 100 favorites works of art in the museum. The resultant pieces will be featured in a special exhibition that will be open Jan. 3, 2012.

Over 5,500 people have already voted since the poll first launched a little over two weeks ago. The museum asked voters to rate the artwork’s historic and aesthetic value, as well as its rarity, significance and popular influence. Lin Huei-hsien, director of the museum’s education center, described the poll as a good indicator of public taste and interest, revealing especially what young audiences really think about art and national treasures.

The polling process, according to Lin, was specifically designed so that one person could only vote once. Each artwork in the running is shown online, with a detailed description available upon further clicking. This way, the voters can be schooled on fine arts while making their preferences known, she said. Voting has been rigorous and competitive. So far, roughly half a month into the competition, the Jadeite cabbage continues to dominate the polls by miles. Runners up, “Sunny after Snow,” is swiftly followed by the “Ting Ware White Ceramic Pillow in the Shape of a Child (白瓷嬰兒枕).” The most surprising thing, according to Lin, was how the museum’s collection of classic calligraphy and ink paintings found their way into the top ten, which aside from “Sunny after Snow,” includes Fan Kuan’s “Travelers Amid Mountains and Streams (谿山旅行圖)” at number nine and Su Shi’s “The Cold Food Observance (書黃州寒食詩)” rounding off number ten. As Lin puts it: “Anyone can recognize and appreciate the carved jade cabbage head, but to see the artistic and historic value of those pictures requires true depth and appreciation.” Voting officially closes Nov. 22. For more information, visit: http://tech2.npm.edu.tw/treasures/