ANNE WANNER'S Textiles in History   /  exhibitions

Centre de Documentacio i Museu Textil
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Miralls d'Orient (Mirrors of the East)

29 April 2004 to 2 May 2005


 

 Mirrors of the East focuses
on three perceptions of the impact of the East
on Catalonia during the modernista period

- The legacy of the Moorish queen:
the rediscovery of the world of al-Andalus and Islam.

- The garden of the Rising Sun:
the presence of the Far East – China and Japan –
in European fashions, and the contacts with the Philippines.

- Mirages of Paradíse:
the sensuous, dream-like world that was met
with a wave of enthusiastic admiration during the modernista and Art Déco periods,
in which the Oriental aesthetic was one of the most important influences.

 
 

 

 

     
  Description:
For the “Western” world, the East embodied the unknown, the “other”, the enemy even: but it also exerted a strange and irrepressible fascination.
This attraction was at its strongest between the mid-nineteenth century and the beginning of the twentieth, coinciding with the apogee of the colonialist expansion of the European nations. In the West, the taste for Eastern products grew and blossomed. Some Europeans wished merely to show off the spoils of their conquests, but there was a sector of Western culture that was beginning to ask questions about itself and to seek out new forms of identity.

Painters, musicians, architects and writers also played essential roles in the expansion of Orientalism which, in fact, was not a single movement but many, as varied in nature as the territories that had inspired it: the Islamic world, Ancient Egypt, Persia, India, China, and Japan.
And in this way the treasures, the ruins and the legends of the East created an idealized image that often had little to do with reality. This fantastic vision impregnated Western culture from the Romantic period until the first decades of the twentieth century.


 
home content Last revised April 20, 2004 For further information contact Anne Wanner wanner@datacomm.ch