Visioning China: Chinese Export Decoration Art from the 17th to 20th Centuries
Dates: Sept 7- Dec 8, 2019
Location: Hangzhou Arts and Crafts Museum, Hangzhou city, Zhejiang province
From the 17th to the 20th centuries, a large number of colorful and exquisite artworks made in China went viral in Europe, America and other parts of the world. The material exchanges in the wake of large-scale trade between China and the West triggered tremendous cultural exchanges, in both width and depth.
The exhibition integrated collections of eight state-owned museums and private collectors, focusing on the "image history" of exports of decorative arts and crafts, and examining China’s rise in the history of the initial globalization.
The exhibition began with the Mysterious East and went on to briefly describe the development of Sino-Western maritime trade. Taking the history of images on export arts and crafts as the main theme, the exhibition narrated Chinese Sentiment, Design in accordance with Commissioned Sample, and Diversity by systemically displaying collections of illustrations and objects that manifested Chinese influence on European society and contemporary art and design.
It broke the limitations of traditional research on exportation which centered on the type of export products and their artisan value, adopting "image examination" and "cross-cultural study" from the perspective of visual cultural history as the research methods for curation, and complemented the narrative with detailed economic and social history materials.
The exhibition explored stories from the images to realize the dual interpretation of "physical evidence" and "graphic evidence", and "past" and "today".
The exhibition space combining historical reality and imaginary fantasy revealed the design concept of immersive "theatrical scenes".
The exhibition was well-crafted and had a rich texture. It was cleverly integrated into the new media and reasonably suitable and bright. It also developed a series of offline public education, corresponding live streaming programs and online virtual tours of the exhibition, harnessing comprehensive media to widen its reach.
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