On February 28, 2022, the first exhibition of the year at the Museum of Art Pudong (MAP), The Territories of Water : Collections from the musée du quai Branly – Jacques Chirac and Fondation François Schneider unveiled itself. The exhibition is co-organized by MAP, musée du Quai Branly - Jacques Chirac (MQB), and Fondation François Schneider, and produced by the Lujiazui (Group) Co., Ltd. The theme of the exhibition centers around water, the core element of human life. The exhibition presents more than 100 artworks altogether from MQB and Fondation François Schneider.
For thousands of years, artists and craftsmen have been fascinated with the subject of water. In this exhibition, precious artifacts from MQB spanning a millennium encounter contemporary artworks from Fondation François Schneider, forming a unique dialogue that takes place at MAP. In some parts of the exhibition, the objects and works are shown in a dynamic fashion like moving clouds, but in other parts, they are shown in a serene manner like the blue oceans, as if the whole exhibition is placed within an azure territory of water. Works presented in the exhibition include: a beast-like sculpture from the Inuit of Greenland, a pounamu jade necklace, which is an heirloom of the Maori of New Zealand, and a Nigerian zoomorphic mask crafted by the Ijaw of southern Nigeria, which is a symbol of kindness and happiness...Other precious artifacts and works have come to reveal the mysteries of the Aztec civilization in the Americas hundreds of years ago, tracing the historical origins of kayaking, or deciphering the purpose of cages in various shapes and forms across the globe in the 19th century.
The course of the exhibition navigates the following five main sections: Water Manufacture of Techniques and Landscape, the Daily Life of Water, Imaginary of Liquid, Territories of the Sacred, and Geography of Crossings. Ancient artifacts and contemporary artworks come together to create an extraordinary experience about water. The mirror space in the depths of the ocean resonates with ancient masks shaped like sea creatures; Inuit fishhooks and wooden sculptures travel passing a century to converse with Greenlandic photography; and Middle Eastern aquatic culture represented by bathing objects from a hundred years ago stand in sharp contrast to a video installation depicting the drought of a river in Iran.
The exhibition also features works like the fragment of a Mexican sacred urn from more than 1,000 years ago, multiple exquisite ancient African terracotta jars, a dugout canoe from the Pacific Islands, joined by contemporary artworks such as a wall of crystals, a planet of salt, and aboriginal paintings, exploring the relationship between humans and water in various dimensions, both technical and spiritual. The exhibits around the world, together with the cultures behind them, tell a story of water, offering visitors an amazing journey of discoveries.
The exhibition The Territories of Water is co-curated by Marie Terrieux, Director of Fondation François Schneider, Constance de Monbrison, Head of the Oceania and Islands Collection at musée du Quai Branly – Jacques Chirac, and Aurélien Gaborit, Head of the African Collection at musée du Quai Branly – Jacques Chirac.
About musée du Quai Branly – Jacques Chirac
One of the most visited museums in France, musée du Quai Branly - Jacques Chirac, located on the left bank of the Seine in the heart of Paris, next to the Eiffel Tower, is a French national museum dedicated to the arts of Africa, Asia, Oceania and the Americas, where many cultures, faiths and histories meet. As a space for dialogue between science and art, the museum's cultural program includes exhibitions, performances, lectures, workshops and screenings.
musée du Quai Branly - Jacques Chirac aims to conserve, document and explore a collection of 300,000 objects from Africa, Asia, Oceania and the Americas, which is extremely diverse in terms of both regional origin (Africa, Asia, Oceania, America) and formal content (photography, textiles, sculpture, masks, etc.) and is among the largest collections in the world. From the Neolithic, through successive French kings, to 20th-century explorers and great ethnographers, these masterpieces bear witness to the wisdom of human social life and are of profound cultural and scientific significance. From Oceania to Asia, from Africa to the Americas, the permanent exhibition presents 3,500 works at geographically uninterrupted intervals. The juxtaposition of these works inspires a new dialogue between world cultures. The museum opens more than a dozen temporary exhibitions each year, characterized by a diversity of approaches and fields of inquiry. Curated by expatriate experts from France or different cultural backgrounds, these exhibitions showcase not only the museum's collection, but also include prestigious works on loan from international institutions and private collections, explore contemporary and anthropological perspectives on current issues facing popular culture, art history, and global society. musée du Quai Branly - Jacques Chirac is both a museum and a center for teaching and research: a forum open to the world that aims to present art, culture and scientific research activities through different levels and perspectives. The numerous scientific activities carried out by the museum contribute to the preservation of the objects and to their study, and to the wide dissemination of knowledge in the field in France and throughout the world.
About Fondation François Schneider
Located on the border between eastern France and Germany and Switzerland, the art center housing Fondation François Schneider is nestled between the forests and mountains of the Alsatian countryside, a former bottling plant, where the permeability of the spaces and the light interact with each other.
Fondation François Schneider was created in 2000, certified as a public charitable foundation in 2005 with two missions: support for education and support for contemporary creation. It provides high school students with access to higher education through the awarding of scholarships, while supporting the professional development of contemporary artists.
Since 2011, the Contemporary Talents competition has been selecting and awarding works and artists on the theme of water every year. Throughout the years, the Foundation has amassed a unique collection of artworks that reflect the diversity of artistic practice in the 21st century. To this day, a portfolio of nearly 80 works on the same theme demonstrates the distinctive style of this institution, which not only exhibits in the Art Center, but also visits other regions.
Fondation François Schneider organizes 3 exhibitions per year, alternating with the Young Contemporary Artists Competition, collaborations with major cultural institutions, and commissions by contemporary artists. These exhibitions examine the theme of water from different perspectives, exploring environment and geography, imagination and travel, and other social issues. Clouds, melting ice, water and digital technology, and water and comics have been the themes of recent projects. Conferences, roundtable discussions, classical or contemporary concerts and live performances accompany the exhibition, resonating with the visual artworks and the theme of water. In addition, the Foundation offers various workshops and various forms of mediation for different groups (families, schools, hospitals, social education, associations ......). The artist residency program further completes the support for creativity. A large garden dotted with sculptures and fountains is available for visitors to stroll through. Fondation François Schneider is a paradise of reflection and sharing, where nature, art and education meet and dialogue by the water.
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