One’s first impression of this exhibition, associated with Asian Art in London and held at Jorge Welsh’s Kensington Church Street Gallery, is of glittering, shiny riches. The brightly lit array of Chinese export ware is breathtaking and leads one to muse how it has been possible to gather together such a cohesive collection of apparently perfect beautiful things.
This exhibition A Time and A Place: Views and Perspectives on Chinese Export Art focuses on those views and perspectives that show buildings in their settings extending chronologically through the late-17th until the late 19th century, and covering a range of works of art that are illustrative of interest in the subject as a type of cultural expression. While researching for the exhibition and the catalogue, a number of sources such as prints and engravings, for previously unidentified scenes painted in Chinese porcelain were discovered and are in some cases, presented for the first time alongside the actual pieces.
There is a diverse range of works of art, ranging from individual plates, dinner services, tea sets, punch bowls, mugs, snuff boxes, urns, cisterns, vases, and plaques made in porcelain, to folding fans, painted ivory plaques, lacquer, and canvas. These pieces are hybrid objects, both Chinese and European, becoming historical testimonies of artistic interactions between the two cultures.
Qianlong period (1736-1795)
Porcelain decorated in overglaze polychrome enamels and gold
- 16.5 cm Ø 38 cm
Panel with a view of Macao
First half of 18th century
Wood lacquered in black and decorated with gold lacquer
- 85.5 cm W. 59 cm
The show continues until November 11.