On June 20, a special exhibition “Far-reaching Elegance: Maritime and Cultural Images of the Chinese Export Textile” opens to the public, displaying the soft and sumptuous silk, the main product traded between east and west. Collections of export silk in CNSM boast high artistic, academic and historical value. Notonly showing Chinese traditional style and aesthetic taste, but also sharing western flavor, export silk embodies the encounter of Chinese and western culture under the background of maritime trade between China and western countries in 18th and 19th centuries.
At the same day, a related symposium is held at Educational Center of CNSM, with six scholars from USA and China making speeches.
CAI Qin, curator of this exhibition, shares her stories behind the exhibitions. Institutions like China National Silk Museum have been dedicated to collecting, studying and preserving export silk for many years. It is a great opportunity to present the museum’s efforts.
CHEN Shuzheng, vice director of Fujian Museum, tells how the exhibition “Sailing Far on the Maritime Silk Road: A Seven-Province Joint Exhibition of Selected Artifacts from the Maritime Silk Road” is created and produced. While YAO An,vice director of Cultural Exchange Center, SACH, introduce their experience of creating a special exhibition on China-Africa Maritime Silk Road in Africa,pondering how to make an exhibition understood and interesting.
MEI Mei, PhD of the Bard Graduate Center & independent curator, focuses on Chinese export shawl and western fashion between 1820s and 1920s. And YUAN Xuanping,professor of Zhejiang University of Technology, presents how Chinese exportarts influenced western decorative art.