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Exhibition features the trading-port scenes of old China

An exhibition featuring 60 historical paintings on the interaction of China and the Western world in the 18th and 19th centuries will run at the Hong Kong Museum of Art from today (March 26) until May 23.

The "Gateways to China - Trading Ports of the 18th and 19th Centuries" exhibition presents a precious collection of historical paintings from the Museum of Art, giving visitors a glimpse of the port views, trading activities and significant personalities involving in history of this period of time. Distinctive export goods including silverware, porcelain, lacquer ware and ivory carving are also showcased.

This exhibition will travel to France and stage in the Mus e de la Compagnie des Indes, Port-Louis from June 12 to September 12 to celebrate the Year of China in France.

The vivid and fascinating descriptions on the vastness and richness of the mysterious Chinese empire put Europe in a fervour for the development of trade with China. With the discoveries of new sea routes in the 16th Century, Westerners began an epoch of active trading activities along the China coast.

The trading ports of China such as Guangzhou, Shanghai, Xiamen, Ningbo, Fuzhou, Shantou and Tianjin were gateways along the China coast through which products manufactured in Europe were transported in huge quantities to China in exchange for her tea, ceramic and silk. The commercial activities in these trading ports set the scene for phenomenal social, cultural, economic and political development in modern history.

The Museum of Art is located at 10 Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon. It opens from 10am to 6pm daily and is closed on Thursdays (except public holidays). Admission is $10 and a half-price concession available to full-time students, senior citizens and people with disabilities. Admission is free on Wednesdays.

For enquiries, call 2721 0116 or visit the Museum of Art's website at .

Ends/Friday, March 26, 2004
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