Tag: China

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Goddess of democracy, Beijing, China, 1989

Museums and Protest

The V&A’s forthcoming Disobedient Objects exhibition challenges the image that many people have of what museums contain and what they are for. However museums can and sometimes do engage with social and political events happening in the world around us. The following are four recent instances of this. The June 4th Museum This June marked […]

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The Enchanting Story behind X+Q for the V&A

The V&A Shop recently collaborated with X+Q Art, the brainchild of Chinese artists Xiang Jing and Qu Guangci on two exclusive scarves inspired by the Masterpieces of Chinese Painting 700 – 1900 exhibition. X+Q Art was founded by leading contemporary Chinese artists Xiang Jing and Qu Guangci to create limited edition sculpture, fashion accessories and […]

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Working with the British Museum Chinese paintings conservators

Auspicious Visitors:Working with Chinese paintings (with a little help from the British Museum)

Destined to be an iconic exhibition, Masterpieces of Chinese Paintings 700-1900 will open this week to a public eager to see some of the most remarkable examples of Chinese painting from 1200 years of tradition. Detail from ‘Nine Dragons’,  Chen Rong, 1244, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston Photograph © 2013 Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. […]

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Travelling to the Wonderland: A new installation by Xu Bing at the V&A

From 2 November, celebrated Chinese artist Xu Bing will transform the V&A’s John Madejski Garden with a new installation inspired by the classic Chinese fable Tao Hua Yuan (The Peach Blossom Spring). The V&A invited Xu Bing to create a major new work to coincide with the Museum’s forthcoming exhibition, Masterpieces of Chinese Painting 700 […]

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winter hat 1700 small

Rebinding ‘The Emperor’s Pearls’

‘The Regulations for Ceremonial Paraphernalia of the Present Dynasty’. Beijing, 1772. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London Aside from the titular precious stones, the upcoming Pearls exhibition will also feature a lavishly illustrated 18th century Chinese book. Known as ‘The Regulations for Ceremonial Paraphernalia of the Present Dynasty, the book is known to have been […]

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Merryl wallpaper

Conservation and Mounting of a Chinese Export Wallpaper Panel

Paper Conservators at the V&A are responsible for everything from minute portrait miniature paintings to enormous printed posters. Historic wallpapers also come under their remit, and the V&A has an extremely fine collection. As part of a series of posts on new displays for the British Galleries, Senior Paper Conservator, Susan Catcher explains the processes […]

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The 12 zodiac animals at the V&A

This year Chinese New Year Day falls on 3rd February. Celebrations usually go on a little longer. In ancient China the finale of festival activities was a splendid display of brightly lit lanterns on the 15th day, after sunset. The coming new year will be the Year of the Rabbit (some say ‘Hare’). Before 1912 the Chinese reckoning of the passage of time was not linear, but cyclical. The Chinese people did not call one year 1001, the following year 1002, and so on. The reckoning of any given year consisted of two parts – the heavenly stem (thereare ten) …

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Political or inspirational

The imperial robes arrived in London on 19th November. When they came out of the crates every member of the installation team was stunned by their beauty. This was not the first time I saw them in the flesh, but each piece still filled me with profound admiration. The skill of the Chinese weavers and embroiderers was out of this world. One has to see them to believe that such craftsmanship was possible Packing at the Palace Museum and installation at the V&A Journalists have expressed a great deal of interest in the way the robes were preserved. The garments …

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What did a Chinese emperor do

Since working on this exhibition I have asked myself more than once: what did a Chinese emperor do to govern a country with a population of a hundred million (that was the figure when the Manchu took over as ruler of China in 1644). The Manchu was a minority people who led a nomadic life outside the Great Wall before they seized power. They did not build the Forbidden City – they simply inherited it from the previous dynasty, the Ming. It was in the Palace of Supreme Harmony that the first Manchu emperor, Shunzhi, ascended the throne. He wore …

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The conservator took measurements

The object list was approved in July, by which time the design of the show cases was more or less in place. As the installation of the exhibition will happen on an unusually tight schedule, it was imperative that every aspect of the design be planned for in detail prior to the arrival of the exhibits. Therefore the V&A conservator Sam Gatley made a trip to the Palace Museum. The following is an account of her five-day sojourn in Beijing. Walking into the grounds of the Forbidden City for the first time was quite an extraordinary experience. Firstly you are …

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