Sunday, August 23, 2015

China at the Met

This past Thursday I went into NYC to the Metropolitan Museum of Art to see China Through the Looking Glass.  To quote the website :"This exhibition explores the impact of Chinese aesthetics on Western fashion and how China has fueled the fashionable imagination for centuries. In this collaboration between The Costume Institute and the Department of Asian Art, high fashion is juxtaposed with Chinese costumes, paintings, porcelains, and other art, including films, to reveal enchanting reflections of Chinese imagery.
From the earliest period of European contact with China in the sixteenth century, the West has been enchanted with enigmatic objects and imagery from the East, providing inspiration for fashion designers from Paul Poiret to Yves Saint Laurent, whose fashions are infused at every turn with romance, nostalgia, and make-believe. Through the looking glass of fashion, designers conjoin disparate stylistic references into a pastiche of Chinese aesthetic and cultural traditions.
The exhibition features more than 140 examples of haute couture and avant-garde ready-to-wear alongside Chinese art. Filmic representations of China are incorporated throughout to reveal how our visions of China are framed by narratives that draw upon popular culture, and also to recognize the importance of cinema as a medium through which to understand the richness of Chinese history."

 Please go to their website to see some fabulous pictures and read about it in more depth.

The whole exhibit was magical, with music and film clips playing, mirrors, glitz and glam and so much to see.  It took my breath away.  I offer you a few of my pictures that don't do it justice, but if you live anywhere near NY, run don't walk to see this exhibit. It has been extended to September 7, so you have time.

This next gallery was very hard to photograph and  hard to explain.  It was a huge room with rods of glass (or maybe plexiglass) that had to be 20 feet or more high. They filled almost the whole room.  Hidden within this forest of glass were life-sized mannequins dressed in white or gray or black.  Playing on the back wall screen, which was enormous, were films of warriors fighting/dancing among bamboo trees.  You really had to be there. Read the explanation below and then there are two pictures of a very small part of it.

The white figures were sometimes hard to see.

 Anyone who has been to my home knows my penchant for blue and white, so I felt right at home in  this next gallery.

The exhibit ran through three floors and several galleries.  We kept getting lost and almost missed one whole huge section.  My friends who went with me are well traveled, as am I, and we said that the Met has to be one of best museums in the world and we are so fortunate to live so close by. 


Lisa Filion said...

I saw this exhibit in early July and enjoyed it immensely!!! Just beautiful!!!

Peggy Holt said...

Astounding. Those rods are ingenious. Thank you for sharing. You always have such food for thought.

Natalya Aikens said...

Thank you for this! I'm sorry that I will be missing it....