2022 marks the 500th anniversary of the Jiajing Emperor, Zhu Houcong's (1507 – 1567) ascension to the throne. With that in mind, the Hong Kong Museum of Art has organised an exhibition focused on the emperor, in collaboration with the owner of the famed Huaihaitang Collection. The life of the Jiajing Emperor was a legendary one. At thirteen years of age, he went from being a vassal prince to becoming the ruler of the Ming dynasty, over which he would reign for the next forty-five years. During the Jiajing era, the Ming dynasty was plagued by internal strife and foreign threats. In the 21st year of the Jiajing period (1542), the emperor moved to the West Park and lived there until his death in 1567. After retreating to the West Park, built to resemble an immortal land on earth, the Jiajing Emperor devoted himself to pursuing immortality and building temples and palaces. The imperial porcelain designs during his reign were greatly influenced by his Daoist belief. From then on, the quantity of porcelain wares ordered by the imperial court from the Jingdezhen kilns increased substantially. The average number of imperial porcelain items supplied per year grew from over four thousand in the early years to more than thirty thousand. A total of nearly six hundred thousand pieces were produced during this period. The forms and patterns of these wares reflected the hopes and wishes of the Jiajing Emperor and mirrored the predicaments and uncertainties of reality at the time. Through his design of the West Park, usage of vast quantities of wares, and practice of Daoist rituals, the emperor was seemingly building his idealised immortal world just like a virtual world nowadays, where he could one day transcend the temporal realm and achieve immortality. In this exhibition, we hope to shed light on the struggles and aspirations of this legendary Ming emperor by featuring artefacts that have survived for five centuries from the era.