Making waves with a flood of water-themed artworks

Wang Jie
"The Territories of Water" features almost 100 artifacts that deal with the relationship between water and culture from a variety of perspectives.
Wang Jie

The theme of water has fascinated artists and craftsmen for thousands of years.

"The Territories of Water" features almost 100 artifacts on loan from the Musée du quai Branly-Jacques Chirac and Fondation Francois Schneider's collections that deal with the relationship between water and culture from a variety of perspectives.

Fish masks are one of the highlights of the display. They are wearable sculptures and are held by a hollowed cavity – or by attaching a small woven wicker skullcap – under the crest.

These fish masks belong to the Ijo people who live in the Niger Delta region of southern Nigeria, a vast territory crisscrossed by several rivers, swampland and the sea.

As a result, believing in water spirits is widespread, and the masks are frequently seen in public.

Apart from ancient relics, such as a 19th-century emerald necklace from the Maori people of New Zealand, various fish traps from Java Island in Indonesia, Perak State in Malaysia, and Kon Tum in Vietnam, the exhibition also includes contemporary artworks to create a dialogue between the past and present for a story of man and water.

Yves Chaudouet's "The fish of great depth have feet, 2006" is another focus. Glass pieces, microprocessors and an LED cluster are used in this work.

Visitors to the museum have to sign a health declaration form and agreement before entering the dark room.

Once inside, they are guided to the bottom of the sea where jellyfish, opaline stars, or mirror eels live an unknown and enigmatic life.

The piece was constructed in close collaboration with the master glassmakers of the Centre International d'art verrier de Meisenthal between 2006 and 2011.

Each part in the installation blends blown glass, glass created with a blowtorch, and silvered glass to create a peaceful and mystical experience for the viewer.

The Musee du quai Branly-Jacques Chirac, one of France's most popular museums, is located on the left bank of the Seine River in the heart of Paris. It is dedicated to the arts and civilizations of Africa, Asia, Oceania and America.

Making waves with a flood of water-themed artworks
Steeve Constanty

Yves Chaudouet's "The fish of great depth have feet, 2006" © Fondation François Schneider

Exhibition info

Date: Through June 5, 10am-9pm

Venue: Museum of Art Pudong

浦东美术馆

Address: 4/F, 2777 Binjiang Ave, Pudong New Area

浦东新区滨江大道2777号4层


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