Great Minds Think Alike - 18th Century French and Chinese Furniture Design

2015-02-03 10:00 - 2015-05-30 18:00

Great Minds Think Alike - 18th Century French and Chinese Furniture Design

When: 3 Feb - May 2015
Where: Liang Yi Museum
Open Reception: 3 Feb 2015 Tue

Horseshoe Armchair (One of a pair)

Horseshoe Armchair (One of a pair)
Zitan, 17th century, North China, 47 W x 61 L x 102 cm H

Liang Yi Museum is pleased to present a unique exhibition Great Minds Think Alike: 18th Century French and Chinese Furniture Design, showcasing the aesthetic and formal similarities of French and Chinese furniture between the 17th and 18th centuries. A collaboration with Kraemer Gallery in Paris, for the first time, furniture from these two countries are brought together side-by-side, revealing an uncanny kinship in their designs and craftsmanship. The exhibition celebrates the first anniversary of the museum.

Display Cabinet

Display Cabinet
Huanghauli, 18th century, Jiangnan Region, China

Great Minds Think Alike serves as a homage and mirroring of the two cultures, where the creative journeys of China and France are marked by the reigns of prominent rulers including Kings Louis XIV (1643-1715); Louis XV (1720-1774); Louis XVI (1774-1793); and the emperors Kangxi (1661-1722) and Qianlong (1735-1796).

Square Table

Square Table
Huanghuali, 18th century, Northern China

In the exhibition, the pieces are presented as pairings in individual galleries. Viewers are invited to study the contrasts and similarities in style, technique, craftsmanship or function over a range of objects, from stools to chairs and lampstands, tables to screens, bookcases and beds. Highlights of the exhibition include a huanghuali wood Chinese six-post canopy bed and a Louis XVI painted wood canopy bed, both from the 18th century. In addition, two special salons are created to reflect the cultural tastes of the era: one decorated in a typical 18th century French style, with objects such as clocks, a vernis Martin tapestry loom, and even a dog kennel, and another as a Chinese Qing-style reception room.

Eight-Panel Screen

Eight-Panel Screen
Huanghuali and semi-precious stone, 18th century, North China, Each Panel 33.5 W x 147cm H

"Today, French furniture from the 18th century is displayed in the greatest museums all over the world, and is considered the embodiment of an entire century," says Mikael Kraemer, director of Kraemer Gallery. In the eras of King Louis XIV to King Louis XVI, "furniture became, for the first time - a major art form - and collectors were spending more on them than paintings and sculptures."

Canopy Bed

Canopy Bed
Huanghuali, 17th century, China, 123 W x 205 L X 203 cm H

Daniel Alcouffe, Honorary General Curator at the Musée du Louvre, has provided an introduction to the catalogue of the exhibition, musing on the adoration of Chinese pieces by Europeans: "The French loved and assimilated Chinese works to such a degree that they sometimes turned them into French objets d'art, with gilt bronze mountings for porcelain vases, removing panels from lacquered folding screens to use them on commodes."

Canopy Bed

Canopy Bed
Huanghuali, 17th century, China, 123 W x 205 L X 203 cm H

On the staggering "shared" sensibility and the parallels in styles, design and craftsmanship, Lynn Fung, Managing Director of the Liang Yi Museum says, "King Louis XIV and the emperor Kangxi never met, but that does not mean they did not admire and wonder about each other. They both sent ambassadors to each other's courts, armed with gifts. The French Jesuits who arrived in the 17th and 18th centuries were also very much welcomed at the Chinese court, bringing with them not only scientific and intellectual discoveries, but also European influences in the arts, especially court paintings. This of course contributed to a most interesting cross-pollination of ideas."

Canopy Bed

Canopy Bed
Huanghuali, 17th century, China, 123 W x 205 L X 203 cm H

For the first time in Asia, selected French pieces are available to purchase after the exhibition concludes. Visits to the Liang Yi Museum is by appointment only, and bookings are available now. Admission is $200 per person including a guided tour.

 

Liang Yi Museum
Opened in March 2014, Liang Yi Museum is Hong Kong's largest private museum, located on Hollywood Road, in the heart of the historic district. Housing a world-class collection of Chinese antique furniture from the Ming and Qing dynasties, as well as the world's most extensive collection of European vanities, Liang Yi Museum is a significant addition to the arts, heritage and cultural landscape of the city.

 

Kraemer Gallery
Celebrating its 140th anniversary in 2015, beauty, authenticity, rarity and quality reflect the philosophy of the five generations of antique trading by the Kraemer family. Kraemer Gallery is the oldest family-owned antiques business in Paris since 1875, specialising in 18th century museum quality furniture and objects d'art from the King Louis XIV-XVI era. From the beginning, the gallery has amongst its clientele the greatest international museums, collectors, interior designers and decorators.

 

Tickets: $200 (includes a guided tour, by appointment only. Wednesdays are open free of charge to full-time students with prior arrangement.)
Opening Hours: 10:00-18:00 (Tue-Sat), Closed on Sun, Mon and Public Holidays
Tel: 852-28068280
Add: 181-199 Hollywood Road, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong

 

*Information provided by Liang Yi Museum

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