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Qing Dynasty exhibition opens in London
9/11/2005 15:25

A number of London's iconic landmarks turned red on Tuesday night to celebrate the opening of the "once in a lifetime" exhibition titled "China: The Three Emperors, 1662-1795."
The star-studded opening reception at the Royal Academy of Arts was adorned with oriental decorations and red courtyard fountains while lighting turned landmarks of Somerset House and London Eye red for the night.
During the opening week of the exhibition, there will be a series of special events at The British Museum, Olympia, Christie's, Bonhams, Sotheby's and the School of Oriental and African Studies in London University, focusing on the themes of the exhibition.
Fashion company Shanghai Tang will launch its "Forbidden City" Imperial Tailoring collection with designs inspired by the sumptuous decorations of the Qing Dynasty, including those from the emperors of Kangxi and Qianlong.
The piece de resistance of the collection is a full-length shearling coat, encrusted with over 90,000 pieces of Swarovski crystals and decorated with the image of a dragon, a symbol of supreme power in China's ancient imperial times.
The exhibition, which opens to the public on Nov. 12 and ends in April, 2006, will present imperial treasures of the Qing Dynasty.
Drawn largely from the remarkable collections of the Palace Museum, Beijing, the exhibition will focus on the artistic and cultural riches of the three most powerful emperors of China's last dynasty: the Kangxi Emperor (16621722), the Yongzheng Emperor (17231735) and the Qianlong Emperor (17361795).
Some 400 works on display include paintings and painted scrolls, jades and bronzes, porcelain and lacquer ware, precious robes, palace furnishings, scientific instruments, weapons and ceremonial armour. Many of these unique objects have never been shown outside China.
"Great exhibitions at the Royal Academy in 1935 and 1973 showed that the British have always been fascinated by China. However, this exhibition comes at a different time; at no other moment in history has there been such an explosion of interest in China," said Chief Curator Jessica Rawson.
"This show is emblematic of an extraordinary moment in Britain's continuing relationship with China," she added.
The exhibition also constitutes a major part of "China in London 2006," a season of events and activities to be held from January to March, which will feature Chinese arts and culture and the historical links between Britain and China.
London Mayor Ken Livingstone said: "The next few months will offer Londoners and visitors to the capital an unparalleled opportunity to experience the richness of Chinese culture right in London in the city."
"Turning some of the capital's iconic buildings red is a fantastic way to mark the opening of the Three Emperors exhibition, which will be a key part of the 'China in London 2006' season," he said.


 Xinhua news