Exhibition of rare artifacts from 9th-century China confirms Maritime Silk Route
TORONTO, Dec. 8, 2014 /CNW/ - Travelling for the first time outside of Singapore for its North American premiere, the exhibition The Lost Dhow: A Discovery from the Maritime Silk Route opens at the Aga Khan Museum on December 13.
In 1998 the shallow waters off Belitung Island in the western Java Sea yielded what would prove to be the earliest and most important marine archaeological discovery of the 20th century: a ship laden with gold, silver, and bronze objects — in addition to 57,500 Chinese ceramic artifacts. No human remains were found on board, but coins and other personal effects revealed remarkable details about the crew's origins. Ultimately identified as an Arab dhow approximately 1,200 years old, the ship provided the first hard evidence of a Maritime Silk Route that saw the vibrant exchange of goods, ideas, and technologies between Tang China and the Abbasid Empire.
For the first time ever in North America, a stunning array of artifacts from this cargo is on display at the Aga Khan Museum in Toronto. Jointly organized by the Asian Civilisations Museum of Singapore, the Singapore Tourism Board, and the Aga Khan Museum, the exhibition The Lost Dhow: A Discovery from the Maritime Silk Route runs from December 13, 2014 to April 26, 2015 with a full complement of multi-disciplinary programming. "This exhibition beautifully shows that creative exchanges between China and the Islamic world were fully under way one thousand years ago," notes Alan Chong, Director of Singapore's Asian Civilisations Museum. Henry Kim, Director and CEO of the Aga Khan Museum, adds, "The Lost Dhow exhibition is a natural fit with the Aga Khan Museum. The cross-cultural exchange exemplified by the dhow's cargo is exactly what our collection and programming both celebrate and explore."
The Lost Dhow: A Discovery from the Maritime Silk Route is guest-curated by John Vollmer, an internationally recognized curator and scholar in the fields of Asian art, textiles and costume, decorative arts, and design.
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SOURCE: Aga Khan Museum
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