"To serve the country and the people is a path to glory". This is the chivalrous deed Guo Jing passes to Yang Guo, the protagonist in Jin Yong's novel The Giant Eagle and its Companion. In other words, the true hero is seen not in a fixed identity but rather in a never-ending effort to show love and benefit others through concrete actions and life-long practice.

Writing under the pen name of Jin Yong, Dr Louis Cha created 15 martial arts novels, in which the lively characters and page-turning plots, the fantastic martial arts skills and dramatic battles between good and evil, have established them as Chinese literary classics and part of the collective memories of Chinese people all over the world. Although individual readers may each respond differently to Jin Yong's characters, the thrilling emotions and the spirit of chivalry and kindness that flow from the novels are common experiences for all.

In this exhibition, renowned sculptor Ren Zhe has applied his distinctive sculpting style, masterful technique and visionary creativity to bring to life 22 fictional characters from five of Jin Yong's novels, namely The Demi-Gods and the Semi-Devils, The Eagle-shooting Heroes, The Giant Eagle and its Companion, The Heaven Sword and the Dragon Sabre, and The Smiling, Proud Wanderer. Including contrastive sculptures of both heroes and villains, Ren Zhe couples an extraordinary imagination with a non-realistic approach integrated with exaggerated poses. He uses modern sculpture expressions to capture the complex mental states of the characters through the characters' expressions and the play of light and shadow on surfaces. The exhibition also includes a brand-new multimedia experience created by media artist Victor Wong (winner of the Best Visual Effects of the Hong Kong Film Awards) and his team, enabling visitors to fully immerse themselves in Jin Yong's imaginary world of wuxia.

This exhibition is a commemorative programme specially organised by the Hong Kong Heritage Museum to celebrate the centenary of Dr Louis Cha's birth. The museum would like to express its gratitude to the family of Dr Cha and Ming Ho Publications Corporation Limited for their full support, and offer thanks for the collaborative efforts of Guyu Cultural Development Foundation, Boundless Artists Collective, artist Ren Zhe and Ren Zhe Sculpture Studio. Special thanks are also extended to Dr Yeung Hing-on, Mr Poon Kwok-sum, Mr Matthew Cheng Ching-hang and Dr Clarence Yau Kin-yan for delivering academic talks. We sincerely hope this exhibition will offer audiences an enthralling encounter with Jin Yong's magnificent realm of martial arts, at the same time enhancing their understanding of his great novels.

Hong Kong Heritage Museum