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Asia Week Hong Kong and Friends of the Art museum, CUHK presents


Innovation and Excellence in the Imperial Arts of the 15th Century China

by Jessica Harrison-Hall - British Museum

Wednesday, 10 June 2015 | 7 pm - 9 pm | Bonhams Hong Kong


Innovation and Excellence in the Imperial Arts of the 15th Century China by Jessica Harrison-Hall


China was the most sophisticated state in the world in the early fifteenth century. It was an extraordinary time of innovation and excellence. Two new capitals were constructed, furnished, and completed within a hundred years. A network of imperial and regional courts engaged with an extraordinarily complex landscape of people and places.


Spectacular materials survive which show palaces furnished with finely worked lacquer, exquisite gold, porcelain, and jade. Collections of paintings, calligraphy, and books circulated across China and internationally. In the Buddhist, Daoist temples and mosques ceremonies and services were conducted which were recorded in fabulous paintings and texts. The early 15th century was a time of building the Forbidden City in Beijing and sending treasure ships around the world to the Middle East and Africa. These contacts made China cosmopolitan; full of foreign goods, people and ideas.



About the speaker



Jessica Harrison-Hall is Head of the China Section and Curator of Chinese Ceramics in the Asia Department of the British Museum. Jessica researches and interprets Chinese history, art, and material culture for a wide range of audiences. Her research interests focus on the Ming and Qing periods and China’s interactions with the wider world. She is currently Principal Investigator, with Professor Craig Clunas of Oxford University, of a major Arts and Humanities Research Project entitled ‘Ming China: Courts and Contacts 1400-1450’ (2012-2015). Recent outputs of this research include the exhibition and book ‘Ming: 50 years that changed China’ and a popular book ‘Ming Art, People and Places She is author of several other books including ‘Ming Ceramics’ (2001 translated into Chinese 2014); ‘Chinese Ceramics’ with Regina Krahl (2009 translated into Chinese 2013); ‘Vietnam: Behind the Lines’ (2002) and ‘Pocket Timeline of China’ (2008).


Jessica curated the first digital-interactive gallery at the British Museum for Chinese Ceramics in 2009 and together with colleagues from the Victoria and Albert  Museum, curated the ‘Passion for Porcelain’ loan exhibition at the National Museum of China in 2012 and the UK touring exhibition, ‘China: Journey to the East’ (2009-2012).




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