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Title: Exhibiting China in London
Authors: Barnes, Amy Jane
First Published: 8-Nov-2010
Publisher: Routledge
Citation: Barnes Amy Jane. 2010. ‘Exhibiting China in London’. In Knell, Simon, Peter Aronsson, Arne Bugge Amundsen, Amy Jane Barnes, Stuart Burch, Jennifer Carter, Viviane Gosselin, Sally Hughes and Alan Kirwan (eds.). National Museums: new studies from around the world.
Abstract: [From introductory paragraph] FOR CENTURIES THE WEST has been fascinated with China or, at least, an image of China mediated through exoticised cultural imaginings and fuelled by fantastical semi-mythical accounts. Until the mid-nineteenth century and the advent of the popular press, the material products of China – silk and later, porcelain and tea – or those manufactured in Europe in the ‘Chinese style’, remained the main means by which the vast majority of Europeans could conceive of China. Indeed, porcelain became so synonymous with its country of origin, that in the West it came to be known simply as ‘china’; a term now applied as a generic descriptor for all types of ceramic, from within and without China, but which nevertheless ascribes an aura of rarity, value and status. Exotic and evocative, and produced by unknown and thus seemingly magical technologies, these products, enthusiastically consumed by fashionable Europeans, came to symbolise an imagined China and sparked successive phases of imagineering, alternating between fascination, ambivalence and distrust.
ISBN: 978-0-415-54774-1
Embargo on file until: 1-Jan-10000
Version: Post-print
Status: Peer-reviewed
Type: Chapter
Appears in Collections:Books & Book Chapters, School of Management

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