Living in Silk. Chinese Textiles Through 5000 YearsThe Náprstek Museum of the National Museum and China National Silk Museum, China – Prague, 132 p.
The exhibition, “Living in Silk. Chinese Textiles Through 5000 Years” was held in the building of the National Museum in Wenceslas Square from 31st May to 31st July 2006. It was organised by experts of the China National Silk Museum from Chang-Chou in the People’s Republic of China, in cooperation with the Náprstek Museum of Asian, African and American Cultures and the National Museum.
The exhibition consisted of three sections. The introductory hall presented the history of silk production, the basic techniques of the weaving and adjusting of silk materials. Part of the hall was devoted to the Silk Road, the important cultural, technological and economic link between Asia and Europe. The second hall contained exhibits ranging from the 1st Century B.C. to the first half of the 20th Century. The third section introduced modern Chinese needlework and contemporary weaving and colouring trends.
The catalogue, ‘Living in Silk. Chinese Textiles Through 5000 Years’, prepared with the cooperation of the National Museum and the China National Silk Museum, was published for the exhibition. The introductory essay, “Living in Silk: The Unremitting Pursuit of the Past 5000 Years” (p. 11-21) by author Zhao Feng, the Deputy Director of the China National Silk Museum, summarises the history of the silk culture in China. Especially emphasised is the ritual and aesthetic significance of silk in Chinese culture. Mrs. Xue Yan, Curator of the China National Silk Museum, describes the technology of weaving and needlework in historical periods in the chapter, “A Civilization in Silk Woven Splendor” (p. 23-30). “Chinese Silks at Náprstek Museum” (p. 31-33) by the Curator of the Náprstek Museum and Curator of the exhibition, Helena Heroldová, describes several silk clothes from the collections of the Náprstek Museum. A pictorial overview of most of the exhibits follows, as well as several exhibits of the section devoted to modern needlework. The colour photographs are enhanced by detailed descriptions.