Yesterday I posted the official images from the press preview of China: Through the Looking Glass. Today…I give you back my text so you don't have to scan through the site. All images by Miguel Villalobos who was there and enjoyed it immensely.
Dear Shaded Viewers,
China: Through the Looking Glass is an exhibition that explores how China has inspired fashion for centuries, it is a collaboration between The Costume Institute and the Department of Asian Art, high fashion will be juxtaposed with Chinese costumes, paintings, porcelains and other art as well as films that will reveal reflections of Chinese imagery.
“From the earliest period of European contact with China in the 16th 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 makebelieve,” said Andrew Bolton, Curator in The Costume Institute. “Through the looking glass of fashion, designers conjoin disparate stylistic references into a fantastic pastiche of Chinese aesthetic and cultural traditions.”
The Anna Wintour Costume Center’s Lizzie and Jonathan Tisch Gallery will present a series of “mirrored reflections” through time and space, focusing on Imperial China; the Republic of China, especially Shanghai in the 1920s, 1930s and 1940s; and the People’s Republic of China. These reflections, as well as others in the exhibition, will be illustrated with scenes from films by such groundbreaking Chinese directors as Zhang Yimou, Chen Kaige, Ang Lee, and Wong Kar Wai. Distinct vignettes will be devoted to “women of style,” including Oei Huilan (the former Madame Wellington Koo), Soong MayLing (Madame Chiang Kaishek), and Empress Dowager Cixi.
The exhibition, a collaboration between The Costume Institute and the Department of Asian Art, coincides with the Museum’s yearlong centennial celebration of the Asian Art Department, which was created as a separate curatorial department in 1915. China: Through the Looking Glass is organized by Andrew Bolton, Curator, with the support of Harold Koda, Curator in Charge, both of The Costume Institute. Additional support is provided by Maxwell Hearn, Douglas Dillon Chairman; Denise Patry Leidy, Curator; and Zhixin Jason Sun, Curator, all of the Department of Asian Art.
Wong Kar Wai will be the exhibition’s artistic director working with his longtime collaborator William Chang, who will supervise styling. Nathan Crowley will serve as production designer for the exhibitio