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Large ‘Fantasy World – Chinoiserie’ Exhibition
Celebrates Macao Museum’s 15th Anniversary

27/05/2013
Exhibition

This year marks the 15th anniversary of the establishment of the Macao Museum under the Cultural Affairs Bureau. In celebration of this special occasion, the Museum hosted an opening ceremony for the “Fantasy World – Chinoiserie” exhibition at 5:00pm on Friday 24th May 2013. The exhibition focuses on the Chinoiserie in Europe, prevalent from the 17th to 18th Century, via the showcasing of artifacts, so that exhibition-goers may understand the great interest of Europeans in emulating the culture of Chinese art. In order to encourage and thank the outstanding contribution made by five individuals who donated important relics to Macao Museum, a donation certificate presentation ceremony was held at the same time.

From the mid-Ming Dynasty, European missionaries journeyed to China, bringing back with them to Europe Chinese philosophy, religion, science, technology and art, which led to a long era of enthusiasm for Chinese goods, artistic style and lifestyle. This trend took root in France during the reign of Louis XIV and consequently had far-reaching impact on the variety of art and culture in France. In order to trace the origins of Chinoiserie and its influences upon France, 80 pieces will be displayed in three separate sections.

The first section – “The Rise of Chinoiserie in the Reign of Louis XIV” - focuses on the Chinese ceramics of that period, and presents the beginnings and development of Chinoiserie. The second section – “The Golden Age of Chinoiserie” - will display various ceramics, printmaking items and oil paintings emulating Chinese art and culture. The last section – “Chinoiserie and the Rise of Neo-Classicism” – represents the widespread influence of Chinoiserie in terms of creative conceptualization in France and the United Kingdom, and its downfall from the golden period via the showcasing of ceramics, printmaking, a huge tapestry which was produced in that period, and a set of four large vases. Some exhibition items have arrived on loan from the Cité de la Céramique- Sèvres et Limoges, Les Arts Décoratifs – Musée des Arts Décoratifs (Paris), Musée du Louvre -Département des Arts Graphiques, Musée des Beaux-Arts et d’Archéologie (Besançon) and some were lent by Wynn Resorts (Macau) S.A.

An English-language lecture, titled “Experts of 18th Century European Decorative Art”, will be delivered from 3pm to 5pm on Saturday 25th May. The Museum has invited Thibaut Wolvesperges, a French art historian and an Associate Professor of La Sorbonne in Paris, to speak. All are welcome to apply for attendance. As seating is limited, please reserve in advance by contacting Ms. Leong on the telephone no. (853) 8394 1218.

“Fantasy World – Chinoiserie” runs from May 25th to August 18th, daily from 10am to 6pm, at the Macao Museum (closed on Mondays). Guided tours for groups and schools are available upon request and should be scheduled in advance. Admission at the Museum is free on Sundays for Macao residents and students. For more information on these and other Museum activities, please call 2835 7911, or visit the Museum’s website at www.macaumuseum.gov.mo.

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