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Exhibition highlights early design innovation

By Wang Linyan | CHINA DAILY | Updated: 2023-05-26 07:36

An oak, varnished table, designed by C.F.A. Voysey, made by Frederick C. Nielsen around 1905. CHINA DAILY

Visitors are able to see designs, wallpapers, textiles, furniture, ceramics, metalwork, jewelry and stained glass created by Morris and his daughter May, an embroidery designer and jeweler; English architects and designers C.F.A.Voysey and C.R. Ashbee; artist and book illustrator Walter Crane and Scottish architect and designer Charles Rennie Mackintosh, among others.

"It's the first time for the classic work of William Morris and his followers to be exhibited in China. I'm sure it will be an artistic feast for the eyes of Chinese visitors," says Tan Ping, director of Art Exhibitions China.

As President Xi Jinping, who is also general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, proposed the Global Civilization Initiative in March, Tan says, he stressed joint efforts to respect the diversity of world civilization, uphold common values of humanity, value cultural inheritance and creativity, and enhance international cultural exchanges and cooperation. The initiative is China's solution to promote the development of civilization and build a community with a shared future for mankind, he says.

"The exhibition is a key move for the Art Exhibitions China to implement the Global Civilization Initiative. It will play a key role in deepening cultural exchanges between China and the United Kingdom in the new era."

Beyond William Morris is the second V&A exhibition that Art Exhibitions China has introduced into China. The first was the exhibition of Masterpieces in Miniature (Treasures from the Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Collection), which was seen by nearly 1 million visitors across seven Chinese cities.

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