Inspired by the Age of Enlightenment

PUBLISHED : Friday, 25 April, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 25 April, 2008, 12:00am

Jean-Francois Jarrige, president and director of the Musee Guimet, said the exhibition came about through the strong links between the Musee Guimet and China, and Hong Kong and the local French consulate.

Mr Jarrige, who is also president of the French Institute, said: 'The scope of this exhibition goes beyond merely illustrating the part played by objects imported from China in the emergence of a fashion characterised by exotic decoration, sometimes rather disparagingly called chinoiserie.' From the Age of Enlightenment, interest in Chinese art and its techniques transformed the way art lovers saw art, and the way in which craftsmen and artists worked.

'This, therefore, is a phenomenon of importance not only in the history of taste, but also in that of the intellectual and artistic life of a great European capital where the enlightened middle classes were taking over from the aristocracy,' Mr Jarrige said.