The University Malayas Museum of Asian Art is currently holding an exhibition entitled Ancient Chinese Padlocks Exhibition. It is currently going on and will be running until the 19th November 2012 where a series of ancient Chinese locks will be showcased.
The idea of this unique show as envisioned by Hong-Sen Yan, the Vice President of the National Cheng Kung University (NCKU) when he came across an old brass lock near the Taipei Railway Station back in 1986 where he immediately developed a kind of affection for these items. He had just finished his PH.D in 1980 and was looking for a hobby then.
The University Chair Professor in the Department of Medical Engineering was inspired by his adviser, Dr Allen Hall Jr when studying at Purdue University who had a collection of more than 100 scales and when he saw the old brass lock at the vendor stall, he knew that was his calling.
Since then, he embarked into a journey that included museums, antique shops, flea markets and such both at home and overseas in search for as many types of ancient Chinese padlocks as he could fine and now he has about 700 of them. While it might not be a large number in a collection, he prides himself in the variety of them.
The collection has not been exhibited outside his country until this year when Mr Aziz Abdul Rashid of the UMs Museum of Asian Art discussed with him about such an arrangement. He has turned down countless invitations since 2000 and it was UMs full support and his team at NCKU Museum that made the show possible.
There will be many types of locks that will be showcased stemming from different eras and dynasties dating back to the early Egyption era and into the Ming and Qing Dynasties respectively.