'East Meets West: Maritime Silk Routes in the 13th – 18th Centuries' Exhibition

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.

East Meets West: Maritime Silk Routes in the 13th - 18th Centuries Exhibition

To See a World in a Grain of Sand: Ancient Maritime and Overland trade

From 17 May 2016 
‘To See a world in a Grain of Sand’ is an exhibition that uses a small number of objects to communicate about the extensive maritime and overland trade routes of the past. Sand is an interesting metaphor for the land and sea trade which characterised the ancient Silk Road. The objects chosen for this exhibition highlight key themes around the circulation of commodities, people and ideas across the Silk Road over time.
Inspired by the first line of the poem by British poet William Blake (1757-1827), this exhibition explores the idea that the miniature can capture the essence of the vast. For the Silk Road, this includes both the maritime and land routes and the fascinating cross-cultural exchanges on art and culture across China, Asia, the Middle East, and Europe.
This exhibition offers visitors a glimpse into the spread of decorative style, religious ideas and the development of technology that came about as a result of centuries of trade and cultural connections between China and the world. The artefacts on display include materials from different cultures related to China – far and near. They include export ceramics from China and Southeast Asia, gemstones from Southeast and Central Asia, Mongolia and the Mediterranean, Turkish saddles decorated with textile patternand ancient Roman glassware used in China. Some of the Chinese export ceramics on display demonstrate the influence of nomadic and Central Asian metalwork.