THE BLUE ROAD: MASTERCRAFTS FROM PERSIA
20th March – 24th June, 2018
Curated by Dr. Yuka Kadoi, The Blue Road: Mastercrafts from Persia is not only the first, but also the most dedicated and comprehensive exhibition surveying different aspects of the colour blue in Persian art and history, ever to be held in Hong Kong. Collaborating with eleven major institutions worldwide including the Victoria & Albert Museum in the United Kingdom; the David Collection in Denmark; the Asian Civilisations Museum in Singapore; and the Freer and Sackler Gallery Archives in the United States of America, the exhibition draws from an unparalleled scale of collaboration between a Hong Kong private museum and public international institutions with a united purpose in showcasing Persian decorative art to Asian audiences. Complementing these are also objects generously loaned from private collectors in Hong Kong.
With materials and categories ranging from glass, ceramic, textile, painting and manuscript, this showcase of 94 carefully selected artefacts illuminates the significant role of blue in the visual and material culture of Iran. The colour personifies a timeless quality in Persian history and the impact made on the shaping of other artistic traditions in Asia and beyond.
To complement The Blue Road: Mastercrafts from Persia, we have dedicated a gallery that focusses on the blue vanities in our collection, made of materials from lapis lazuli to sapphires, enamel to turquoise. Vanity cases are bejewelled cosmetic boxes made for women in Europe starting at the end of the nineteenth century, and continuing all the way to the mid-twentieth century. The Blue Road features just over 80 of these precious boxes, aiming to provide the final stop along what we hope was an enjoyable and educational journey on our Blue Road.
Bottle Iran 18th-19th century Coloured glass Height 33 x Diameter 10.2cm ©Doris Duke Collection, Honolulu
Flask Iran 17th century Fritware with underglaze decoration Height 31 x Width 20 cm ©Ashmolean Museum, Oxford
Brush-rest China Early 16th century (Zhengde reign 1506-21) Porcelain with underglaze decoration Height 11 x Width 5.3 x Length 22.8cm © Hong Kong Museum of Art Collection
Mosque Lamp China 19th Century Bronze with cloisonné enamel decoration Height 25cm x Diameter 23cm (lamp) ©The David Collection, Copenhagen
Calligraphic Composition USA 2005 Ink, colour and gold on paper Width 25.8 x Length 27.6cm ©Asian Civilisations Muesum, Singapore
Compact c. 1925 Lapis lazuli, mother-of-pearl, enamel and semi-precious stone Height 1.7 x Width 5.44 x Length 7.08cm Liang Yi Museum collection