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A Passion for Silk: The Road from China to Europe

11 April - 1 September


The Indra and Harry Banga Gallery of City University of Hong Kong (“CityUHK”) is excited to announce the exhibition “A Passion for Silk: The Road from China to Europe”, curated by art historian Dr Isabelle Frank. The exhibition presents the 2000-year history of silk, displaying exquisite artefacts from around the globe. “A Passion for Silk: The Road from China to Europe” will be on view from 11 April to 1 September 2024 in the Indra and Harry Banga Gallery on the 18th floor of the Lau Ming Wai Academic Building of CityUHK.

As part of CityUHK’s 30th anniversary celebration, this exhibition delves into silk’s storied history, from its emergence in ancient China through its evolution to the present day. The exhibition presents approximately 150 exhibits, including many from Mr Chris Hall’s collection of Chinese textiles, one of the best and most comprehensive in the field. These beautiful artefacts, originating from China, India, France and Italy, reveal major developments in art, trade, fashion and technology. At the same time, the exhibition demonstrates the crucial cultural role played by Chinese silk and silk-making for millennia across the globe.

Following the journey of silk through space and time, the exhibition has seven distinct areas: (i) ‘What is Silk?’, (ii) ‘As Good as Gold’, (iii) ‘From the Tang through the Qing dynasties’, (iv) ‘Keeping Up with Fashion’, (v) ‘On the Road: From China to Europe’, (vi) ‘France Takes the Lead’, and (vii) ‘Chinese and French Silk in the 20th Century’. Tracing the circuitous route of silk from China to Europe and back, the exhibition showcases how this luxurious material acted as a medium for international exchange and highlights how it helped shape the modern world.

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