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GANBEI

A Toast to Chinese Wine Culture
30 November 2022 | starting at 14:00 HKT

How wine, now considered one of the earliest forms of material civilisation, came about seems to be a bit of a coincidence: food was soaked with water by accident and with time, alcohol was naturally produced. Consuming the alcoholic food sent our earliest predecessors to a state of tipsiness like nothing they had ever experienced – they believed it was an otherworldly track to come closer to the divinity. This may explain why priests are among the earliest group of people who drank wine copiously, before this activity gained popularity among the nobility, the scholar-officials and then the public. With time, objects related to the drinking culture have also evolved in craftsmanship and function, from the dignified designs for ceremonies to the elaborate style adorned with precious material accessible only to the noblemen, and further on to a boom in artistic expression sought after by the literati. Through Chinese history, wine has gone beyond the material to become an indispensable vehicle connecting the social, the art, the culture and more.

On 30 November, Bonhams Hong Kong will present GANBEI: A Toast to Chinese Wine Culture, a themed auction showcasing more than 40 pieces of Chinese works of art connected to drinking and wine culture over the past 3,000 years. They span dynasties from Shang, Spring and Autumn, Warring States, Western Han, Tang, to Song, Yuan, Ming and Qing. All items will be exhibited to the public from 21 to 29 November, an opportunity for everyone to trace the development of the wine culture as a form of art throughout Chinese history.

「將進酒—中國飲酌文化與藝術」

酒,乃幾千年來華人社交、藝術以至文化發展之重要載體,演化成異彩紛陳的精神面貌。酒很有可能出自偶然:糧食被水打濕或浸泡一段時間後,發酵出酒精,先民食用後酩酊陶醉,狀態有如神啟,打通人神邊界,故此最初大量飲酒的群體應當是巫覡階層,其次便是貴族,再延展至士族乃至庶民。器以載道,酒器亦隨時代推崇之理念及功用而變,從猙獰肅穆的祭祀禮器,演變成金堆玉砌的上流之物,進而因文人雅士,又成重意趣而輕材質的各式珍玩。本場帶來逾50件與酒文化相關之古董器物,跨越商、春秋、戰國、西漢、唐、宋、元、明至清代洋洋三千多年歷史,讓藏家以至大眾以器知禮,管窺酒藝在華夏文化之長足發展。

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