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Exhibiting China in London

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posted on 16.02.2015, 10:25 by Amy Jane Barnes
[From introductory paragraph] FOR CENTURIES THE WEST has been fascinated with China or, at least, an image of China mediated through exoticised cultural imaginings and fuelled by fantastical semi-mythical accounts. Until the mid-nineteenth century and the advent of the popular press, the material products of China – silk and later, porcelain and tea – or those manufactured in Europe in the ‘Chinese style’, remained the main means by which the vast majority of Europeans could conceive of China. Indeed, porcelain became so synonymous with its country of origin, that in the West it came to be known simply as ‘china’; a term now applied as a generic descriptor for all types of ceramic, from within and without China, but which nevertheless ascribes an aura of rarity, value and status. Exotic and evocative, and produced by unknown and thus seemingly magical technologies, these products, enthusiastically consumed by fashionable Europeans, came to symbolise an imagined China and sparked successive phases of imagineering, alternating between fascination, ambivalence and distrust.

History

Citation

Barnes Amy Jane. 2010. ‘Exhibiting China in London’. In Knell, Simon, Peter Aronsson, Arne Bugge Amundsen, Amy Jane Barnes, Stuart Burch, Jennifer Carter, Viviane Gosselin, Sally Hughes and Alan Kirwan (eds.). National Museums: new studies from around the world.

Author affiliation

/Organisation/COLLEGE OF SOCIAL SCIENCE/School of Management

Version

AM (Accepted Manuscript)

Published in

Barnes Amy Jane. 2010. ‘Exhibiting China in London’. In Knell

Publisher

Routledge

isbn

978-0-415-54774-1;978-0-415-54773-4

Publisher version

http://www.routledge.com/books/details/9780415547741/

Language

en

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Exports