maandag 28 april 2014

Back from Dongguan

I just returned from a two weeks visit to Dongguan, China. There I worked on the design and display for the exhibition The Blue Revolution in the Yuan Chonghuan Memorial Park Museum. 
I had a great time working together with projectleader Adriaan Rees and the lovely staff of the museum. The first week we mainly worked at the setup of the exhibition, to make photographs that we wanted to use in the catalogue. We finished the design of the catalogue not even a week before the opening of the exhibition. Then it went to the printer and binder to make the first 200 copies. In only one week, incredible fast, that's China.

Some extra information about the exhibition:

The Blue Revolution
This exhibition shows more than 130 pieces of exquisite ceramics, from the collections of Jingdezhen Imperial Porcelain Museum, Museum Prinsenhof Delft, The Archaeological Department Delft,  The San Bao Ceramic Museum Jingdezhen and from private collections.
All these pieces, old and new, tell their own intimate story about blue and white porcelain and Delftware and the relationship between the East and the West.
This third edition of The Blue Revolution in Dongguan is divided into 3 parts:
The Hall of Heroes, the transport room and the underwater room.
Specially for this show in Dongguan we developed The Hall of Heroes.
In this room you will find the three heroes of each town.
Yuan Chonghuan from Dongguan is the patriotic hero and famous general from the late Ming Dynasty.
Tong Bin from Jingdezhen, famous potter and master of wind and fire, who gave his life for a special porcelain pot for the emperor .
William of Orange from Delft, who is the founder of The Netherlands and great grandfather of the present King of The Netherlands.
You can also see a world map, with the location of the three cities and the Maritime porcelain connections between the East and the West.
Dongguan, Jingdezhen and Delft are all three world famous cities for trading. Jingdezhen and Delft for their ceramics. Dongguan in recent years because it was one of the first cities that developed as a modern industrial area and production zone for China and the world.
The second room is the transport room
This room gives you an impression about how the ceramics were transported by merchant ships over sea.
It also gives some brief information about  the VOC (the Dutch East Indian Company who transported the Chinese porcelain to The Netherlands) and it shows an old map of Delft, with the main excavation sites where old Chinese porcelain and Delftware was found.
The video screen in this room shows short videos about Jingdezhen and Delft and gives short impressions how ceramics are made.
The third room is the underwater room
This is  an exciting room where visitors have the feeling to walk around into an underwater world. In ancient times, some of the wooden merchant ships shipwrecked and sank to the bottom of the sea.
These shipwrecks and their expensive cargo are often discovered. The porcelain from these ships are a real treasure. In this room you will find, amongst others, eight shards from the VOC ship ‘Witte Leeuw’ (White Lion), a ship that sank in 1613. These shards are just laying in the sand, next to ceramics made by modern artists from Delft and Jingdezhen and the exquisite porcelain pieces from Jingdezhen Imperial Porcelain Museum.


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