14 August - 11 November 2018
East Meets West: Maritime Silk Routes in the 13th -18th Centuries is the highlight of the HKMM exhibition programme this summer. Co-organised with the Guangdong Museum and supported by the Department of Culture of Guangdong Province and Home Affairs Bureau HKSAR, and sponsored by The Swire Group Charitable Trust, the exhibition will present important artefacts in the Southern Song to the Early Qing dynasties in the perspectives of community trade, religions, cultural exchange, historical and maritime archaeology, to encourage understanding of the development of maritime silk roads along the Southern coast of China. Based on the travelling exhibition presented by the State Administration of Cultural Heritage at Internationales Maritimes Museum (Germany) and Museum Palazzo Venezia (Italy) respectively in 2017, and this re-curated exhibition will feature additional highlights, including shipwrecks of Nanhai No. 1, Wanli and Nanao No. 1, and from local Hong Kong waters.
The exhibition will be divided into five sections, namely “Connecting the Globe”, “Mapping East and West”, “Economic Sea”, “Sunken Treasures” and “Maritime Civilisations”. The first section “Connecting the Globe” will introduce the development of Maritime Silk Routes and important sailing routes between East and West. The second section “Mapping East and West” will illustrate navigational maps and charts, and present interpretations of China via historical Western and Chinese maps. The third section “Economic Sea” will introduce the ideas of “fragrance”, “beauty” and “Ore” in the seaborne trade, by showing commodities such as tea, medicine, spice, porcelain, silk, gold, silver as well as precious gems. The fourth section “Sunken Treasures” will present the latest shipwreck materials found in Guangdong and Hong Kong, including the Nanhai No. 1 and Nanao No. 1 shipwrecks, and the Song anchor stock excavated from Hong Kong waters. The role of Hong Kong in the global maritime silk routes will also be discussed. And the last section “Maritime Civilisations” will discuss the spread of religion across the ocean including Islam, Christianity and Buddhism, and religious relics remains found in China. In addition, this section will also discuss missionaries as well as cultural, scientific and industrial exchanges between East and West.