ACM's third-floor galleries are focused on decorative art, and are collectively themed Materials and Design. The two new galleries, Fashion and Textiles, and Jewellery, together with the refreshed Ceramics gallery, comprise a display of over 400 precious and finely crafted masterpieces, telling stories of Asian identities, histories and cultures.
Exploring Asian identities through dress and adornment
The Fashion and Textiles gallery presents a diverse range of fashion and textiles through periodically-rotating displays, outlining how identities and cross-cultural exchanges are revealed through dress.
This elegant black qipao was made using devoré velvet – a technique that was invented in France at the turn of the 20th century and came into vogue in the 1920s in China. Other 1930s qipao trends reflected in this piece include bold, Western-style floral prints and a silhouette cut close to the natural curves of the body, with sleeves shortened to “cap sleeves”.
In its first display, Fashion Revolution: Chinese dress from the late Qing to 1976, the Museum presents 33 representative examples of Chinese dress, including rare and elaborate dragon robes, an early representation of the iconic qipao from the 1930s, and a zhongshan zhuang – otherwise popularly known as the “Mao Suit”. The chronological display reflects a century of drastic political, economic and socio-cultural changes, and its effect on sartorial trends and choices.
Visit the Jewellery gallery virtually.
This elaborate Peacock belt, which comprises linked gold panels and 75 carats of brilliant-cut diamonds, was likely commissioned by a wealthy Peranakan woman.
Complementing that, the Mary and Philbert Chin gallery will be the first permanent gallery in the world to spotlight island Southeast Asian jewellery, exhibiting its varied and complex styles, forms and uses through a showcase of artefacts from the Neolithic period to the 20th century. The gallery illustrates how jewellery is present at every stage of life, and shares an intimate relationship with its wearer, functioning beyond the aesthetics.
Visit the Fashion and Textiles gallery virtually.
Insight into Asian materials
Prunus or plum blossom trees were among the sculptural pieces created by Dehua potters during the 18th and 19th centuries. This piece is among some of the largest and most complex created, illustrating the skill of Dehua potters at creating sculptural works.
The third gallery, Ceramics, presents a comprehensive survey of the hardy yet fragile material of Chinese ceramics, in a display that features ceramic masterworks from the Neolithic period through the Qing dynasty. In particular, ACM’s excellent collection of white Dehua porcelain – known historically as blanc de chine – will be on display.
The diverse collection within these new galleries were made possible largely with the support of ACM’s patrons, including long-term patrons Mr Chris Hall, who gifted the textile pieces on display in the Fashion and Textiles gallery, and Mr Edmond Chin, who contributed a generous gift of funds and Southeast Asian jewellery in honour of his parents, Mary and Philbert Chin.
Visit the Ceramics gallery virtually.