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Chinese painting masterpieces to be exhibited in London


10:33, May 12, 2013

LONDON, May 10 (Xinhua) -- The Victoria and Albert Museum (V & A) is to hold an exhibition this autumn, bringing together more than 70 Chinese painting masterpieces created over a 1200-year period.

The exhibition, called Masterpieces of Chinese Painting 700-1900, will start on Oct. 26 and last till Jan. 19 next year.

"This is the first time in Europe people will be able to see these wonderful works of art on display," said Damien Whitmore, director of Public Affairs and Programming with the V & A.

Zhang Hongxing, curator of the exhibition, told Xinhua that V & A has planned for two years, before borrowing the masterpieces from 20 museums in not only China, but also Japan, the United States, Sweden, France, Germany, etc.

"Many of the works are rarely seen to the public," he said.

The painting on the exhibition poster was the famous Court Ladies Preparing Newly Woven Silk by the eighth emperor of the Song Dynasty (960-1279) Huizong. It was in Boston. A lot of Chinese people only know the work by its name without actually seeing it.

"By putting these paintings together, we would like to give audiences a rough idea of the development, change, innovation and inheritance of Chinese painting," he said.

The exhibition will be organized chronologically and thematically in six successive periods to chart the evolving styles and subject of painting.

"To help Western people understand traditional Chinese painting, we arranged the works not by dynasties, but by different styles and themes," Zhang said.

Whitmore told Xinhua that the exhibition will also give audiences a general idea of how Chinese paintings were created by explaining the painting process with a video clip and displaying different materials and tools.

"They (visitors) will look, they will learn and they will live in aspire to create a visit maybe to China to see the real thing," he said.

Whitmore noted that people's interest in China is growing. "There is a massive interest in China. We have seen the attendance to the Chinese collections increases."

V & A had three exhibitions about China in the past a few years, about the imperial Chinese robe, the contemporary Chinese fashion and design and contemporary photography.

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