OBJECTIFYING CHINA: MING AND QING DYNASTY CERAMICS AND THEIR STYLISTIC INFLUENCES ABROAD

The University Museum and Art Gallery (UMAG) of the University of Hong Kong (HKU) will present Objectifying China: Ming and Qing Dynasty Ceramics and Their Stylistic Influences Abroad from December 9, 2017 to February 27, 2018. Presented with the support of Robert Black College and objects from the collections of UMAG, the Asian Civilisations Museum, Singapore and the Hong Kong Maritime Museum, Objectifying China examines how the international trade in ceramics spread styles, forms and manufacturing technologies throughout various regions. These exchanges dramatically altered the course of Asian and European art, producing objects prized for their exotic origins, superior technology and beauty.

For thousands of years, China has provided the world with porcelain of the highest quality. Elegant and resistant to heat and moisture, Chinese porcelain of various shapes and colours was eagerly sought—and just as eagerly imitated—by craftsmen across the globe. From the sixth to twentieth centuries, Chinese kilns produced everything from magnificent display pieces for the imperial court to vast quantities of bowls and dishes intended for everyday use, as well as for export to Southeast Asia, Japan, Korea and the Islamic world.

The first Chinese porcelains did not arrive in Europe until the fourteenth century, when small numbers were presented to the ruling houses of Europe via intermediaries in the Middle East. Technologically superior to low-fired European ceramics, they were regarded as objects of rarity and luxury, and were sometimes mounted with silver or gold to emphasise their preciousness. By the early sixteenth century—after Portugal had established trade routes to China—Chinese potters began to produce large amounts of porcelain specifically for export to Europe as part of a larger trade in silk, spices, tea and lacquer.

Like all successful inventions, porcelain inspired competition. Kilns in Asia had been producing a wide variety of ceramics in imitation of Chinese wares for centuries, but European attempts to imitate porcelain were unsuccessful until Johann Böttger unlocked the process in Meissen, Germany in 1709. By the end of the century, factories across Europe were producing hybrid works that combined the best features of European and Asian design.


Exhibitions and events

Nestorian Crosses of the Yuan Dynasty

Permanent exhibition

The University of Hong Kong’s (HKU) Nestorian crosses were assembled by a Mr. F. A. Nixon who served as a British postal commissioner in Beijing in the 1930s and 1940s. Subsequently the collection...

[LUNCHTIME CONCERT] MONTHLY RECITAL SERIES

Event at University Museum and Art Gallery, The University of Hong Kong on 23.02.2018 13:00

Date:  Friday, 23 February 2018 | Friday, 23 March 2018 Time:  13:00 – 13:45 Venue:  Drake Gallery, 1/F Fung Ping Shan Building, University Museum and Art Gallery, HKU, 90 Bonham...

[WORKSHOP] Painting and Restoration Workshop

Event at University Museum and Art Gallery, The University of Hong Kong on 24.02.2018 15:00

February 24, 2018 (Saturday) Renaissance Painting Techniques: From Venice to Naples Two old Masters paintings, one Venetian and one Neapolitan will be shown to the class. Guided by the instructor,...

From Two Arises Three: The Collaborative Works of Arnold Chang and Michael Cherney

Temporary exhibition at University Museum and Art Gallery, The University of Hong Kong from 02.03.2018

The University Museum and Art Gallery (UMAG) of the University of Hong Kong (HKU) will present From Two Arises Three: The Collaborative Works of Arnold Chang and Michael Cherney  from March 2...

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