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Costume Institute to focus on China

Costume Institute to focus on China

Gala goes East


The Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (MET) has paid attention to the world's global fascination with all things China, and has announced it as its new exhibition focus

Come Spring 2015, The Costume Institute at the MET will present 'Chinese Whispers: Tales of the East in Art, Film and Fashion'. The new exhibition will explore the impact China's influence has had on creativity - from fashion and costume to paintings, porcelain, art and film. 

It will be hosted by the Costume Institute and the museum's 'Department of Asian Art', which celebrates its 100th anniversary next year. The event will take place at the Met's Anna Wintour Costume Center and Chinese Galleries. 

Costume Institute curator Andrew Bolton explained the choice to stage this exhibition now in a statement: "The West's interest in China seems to be intensifying, and China's cultural influence on the West also seems to have reached new heights," adding: "The basic idea is the influence of Chinese aesthetics on designers, but I also wanted to convey how costumes and decorative arts crystallise centuries of cultural interchanges between the East and the West. They speak to an ongoing fascination of enigmatic objects and motifs. They are infused with fantasy and nostalgia and romance, and what often is created is a virtual China, a mixing of these anachronistic styles, which results in this pastiche. What is interesting is how complicit China has been in forming those fantasies." 

The exhibition's title  – Chinese Whispers: Tales of the East in Art, Film and Fashion – was inspired by a parlour game, which was developed during the British Empire. 'Chinese Whispers' – where a message is whispered amongst a circle of people so much that it loses its original meaning. "It's a nice way to explain that a lot of the motifs and cultural images are often lost in translation," Bolton explained.

Opening to the public May 7 to August 16,  the exhibition will be launched (as always) with the Costume Institute benefit, with Silas Chou as honorary chair. Actress Jennifer Lawrence, Chinese actress Gong Li, Yahoo president and chief executive officer Marissa Mayer, Wendi Murdoch and Anna Wintour are all co-chairs.  The project will be sponsored by Yahoo with support from Condé Nast. 

 

 

Announced topic of the next Costume Institute Ball (photo 1)

John Galliano for Dior, Autumn/Winter 1997/98

 

 

Announced topic of the next Costume Institute Ball (photo 2)

John Galliano for Dior, Autumn/Winter 1997/98

 

 

Announced topic of the next Costume Institute Ball (photo 3)

Tom Ford for Yves Saint Laurent, Autumn/Winter 2004/5

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