Eastern Exchanges will include ceramics, sculpture, textiles, metalworks and furniture. Historical works such as the “Silk Dragon Robe” with gold embroidery and the iron “Articulated dragon” from the 19th century are showcased alongside contemporary artistic works, including Danful Yang’s Elmwood “Fake One” and Min Soo Lee’s porcelain “The Memory”.
The pieces exhibited span the traditions of China, Korea and Japan and the exhibition aims to explore overlaps within these cultures.
Alongside loans from public collections and collectors, some of the works presented are from the Manchester Art Gallery’s own collections and have not been exhibited for 30 years. The Gallery’s extensive collection inspired the exhibition, and curator Janet Boston takes the prominence of Japanese and Korean craft, as well as the cultural rise of China as important impetuses.
Boston says: “We aim to explore why East Asian craft is so distinctive and accomplished, and the relationship between tradition and innovation in craft and design in East Asia. Tradition is important, but the art has also been influential on artists working on the cutting edge.”
She adds: “The exhibition is a broadly chronological structure, and we want to make it approachable for people that know nothing as well as those who are already knowledgeable.”
Eastern Exchanges: East Asian Craft and Design will run from 2 April to 31 May 2015 at Manchester Art Gallery, Mosley Street, Manchester, M2 3JL. Entrance is free.