As part of our national programme of activity focused on ancient Egyptian and East Asian collections, we are working with four local museums to study their Chinese, Japanese and Korean collections and findings shared through new displays, events and learning and digital resources.

Following the successful exhibition, Dress to Impress, at Perth Museum and Art Gallery (26 May - 27 October 2018), National Museums Scotland are working with the University of Aberdeen and Kirkcudbright Galleries to review local Chinese, Japanese and Korean collections and support two new displays with loans from the national collection. Later this year, we will also be working with Fife Cultural Trust to support a fourth Reveal display at Dunfermline Carnegie Library and Galleries.

Dress to Impress

Dress to Impress, our first local East Asia exhibition ran at Perth Museum and Art Gallery (26 May to 27 October 2018) and revealed a rare Korean robe dating from the 19th century, one of only two in the United Kingdom.

Installation view of two Ainu robes from Perth Museum and Art Gallery's collection in Dress to Impress.

Substance to Style: Traditional Arts of East Asia

The University of Aberdeen's exhibition, Substance to Style, explores the creative use of different materials used across East Asia to create unique and exceptional pieces of art.  It will showcase items such as Japanese netsuke, three-thousand-year-old Chinese bronze vessels, a volume of a rare Chinese encyclopaedia and a samurai suit of armour. 

Substance to Style is on display at the Sir Duncan Rice Gallery Library from 18 March to 22 August 2019.

A lacquer box from the Ming Dynasty on loan to Substance to Style from National Museums Scotland

Japan: Art and Inspiration

With original works, prints, textiles and objects discover the stunning beauty and intricacy of the art of Japan. Japan: Art and Inspiration at Kirkcudbright Galleries brings together three displays looking at Japanese collections from Dumfries Museum and National Museums Scotland, the inspiration of Japan on local Kirkcudbright artists and the work of  Utagawa Hiroshige, a Japanese landscape print designer.

This exhibition runs at Kirkcudbright Galleries from 30th March to 9 June 2019.

One of the woodblock prints on display at Kirkcudbright Galleries from National Museums Scotland

From East to West

Featuring rarely seen treasures from Fife's museum collections, as well as loans from National Museums Scotland, the exhibition explores our relationship with China and Japan. From trade and export to East Asia’s influence on Western tastes and fashions, we reveal the stories behind the objects. Who were they made for? How did they come to be in the museum collections? What intriguing tales can they tell? From samurai armour and opium pillows to tiny ivory netsuke and hand-painted porcelain, the exhibition offers a fascinating insight into what museums collect and how objects in museums help connect us to the wider world.

From East to West will be on display at Dunfermline Carnegie Library from 24 August to 17 November 2019.

Supported by

Display Schedule

University of Aberdeen
18 March – 22 August 2019

Kirkcudbright Galleries 
30 March – 9 June 2019

Dunfermine Carnegie Library and Galleries
24 August – 17 November 2019

Contact us

partnerships@nms.ac.uk

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