The Hong Kong Museum of Art Has Received an Astonishing $480 Million Donation of Chinese Painting and Calligraphy

The gift includes rare objects from the late Ming and early Qing dynasties.

The foundation Chih Lo Lou Art Promotion donated more than 350 rare Chinese paintings and calligraphy to the Hong Kong Museum of Art for permanent display. Image via

The Hong Kong Museum of Art has received an staggering gift of more than 350 Chinese paintings and calligraphic works from the nonprofit foundation Chi Lo Lou Promotion, founded by the philanthropist and collector Ho lu Kwong, according to a Hong Kong government news website.

The gift is estimated at more than HK$3.8 billion ($480 million), according to The Standard. The most renowned objects in the collection are those from the late Ming and early Qing dynasties.

“It is very rare, because as a scholar or as a curator in a museum, we know very well this subject is so rare in art history. In general, most collectors, they collect the paintings (that are) beautiful, high value,” Hong Kong Museum of Art curator Szeto Yuen-kit said in a statement. Ho collected “with a very clear and very special criteria, that the paintings should (be) imbued with a kind of very Chinese high spirit, say, integrity, or virtue.”

The Hong Kong Museum of Art. Image courtesy Niklas Morberg via Flickr.

The Hong Kong Museum of Art. Image courtesy of Niklas Morberg via Flickr.

A donation ceremony took place at Government House, where Hong Kong chief executive Carrie Lam presented a certificate of appreciation to Chi Lo Lou chairman Ho Sai-chu. Lam commended the “selfless and passionate dedication of the late Mr. Ho to preserve Chinese cultural heritage,” according the government statement.

The museum is currently closed for renovation but when it reopens next year the Ho collection will be permanently displayed in a dedicated gallery titled the “Chih Lo Lou Gallery of Chinese Painting & Calligraphy.”

The foundation was incorporated by Ho lu Kwong in 1985 and is dedicated to “furthering the spirit” of Chi Lo Lou with the intent to benefit the moral, social, and physical well-being of the community through the promotion of art.

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