In July 2017 the Moscow Kremlin Museums will open the exhibition presenting Japanese applied and decorative art of the 19th to early 20th century from the private collection of a world-famous British scientist, collector and philanthropist of Iranian origin Professor Nasser David Khalili. A variety of world famous Japanese kimono, unsurpassed samples of silk embroidery, porcelain, metal and enamel artworks in all its glory will be on display. Most of them were created by craftsmen-official suppliers of the Japanese Imperial court.
About ninety exhibits will be shown at the exhibition, one third of which are the kimonos of the Edo and Meiji periods, including the ceremonial ones. Created for women and men, young girls, children and even infants, these gorgeous kimonos were made of exclusive handmade silk produced in Japan and highly estimated imported fabrics. They are decorated with inimitable patterns typical for Japanese traditional art only, which are executed in techniques of batik, stencil and freehand painting, as well as finished with silk and metallic threads embroidery.
Unique combination of traditions and innovation characteristic for the Meiji period is clearly shown in works of eminent Japanese enamellists and metalsmiths, which are also to be displayed. Starting from 1873, Japan presented pieces of this type and level at both national industrial exhibitions in Tokyo and at international exhibitions in Austria, the United States, France, Germany, Great Britain and Belgium. Such masterpieces were also used as diplomatic gifts. High-class items were selected for this purpose, since the Japanese government considered development of cultural and economic ties with other states its priority.
Each piece picked for display at the Moscow Kremlin Museums reflects both its high-class execution specific to this very period, and exquisite refined taste of customers and creators.
The catalogue, accompaning the exhibition, gives a shot but revealing insight into the world's most extensive, significant and comprehensive private collection of Japanese art, for the first time presented in Russia. It was collected with passion and knowledge over approximately five decades by the renowned scholar and academic Professor Nasser David Khalili, and comparable in its extent only to that held by the Japanese Imperial family. The catalogue includes about a hundred luxurious kimonos and interior design item. The text is lavishly illustrated. The publication is recommended to a wide audience of amateurs of Japanese culture and art at the turn of the 20th century. The catalogue is available at the exhibition hall of the Assumption Belfry, museum shops at the Aleksandrovsky Sad, Armoury Chamber and the shop opposite the Patriarch's Palace. Price: 2500 rub.
TREASURES OF IMPERIAL JAPAN FROM THE KHALILI COLLECTION
19TH TO EARLY 20TH CENTURY
- Beyond Imagination
- Summer kimono (hitoe)
- Japanese Enamels
- Kimono for a Young Woman (uchikake)
- Outer Kimono for a Woman (uchikake)
- Sleeping kimono (yogi)
- Elena Gagarina and Nasser David Khalili at the exhibition "Beyond Imagination"
- 'Beyond Imagination' exhibiton
- Kultura TV-channel. Moscow, 04.07.2017
- The Moscow Kremlin Museums show the treasures of Japanese Emperors
- 'Beyond Imagination': Japanese treasures on display at The Moscow Kremlin Museums
"It is a fascinating display! To fell in love and to understand art of another nation means to pave the way to other people's hearts. We are grateful to people like Mr. Khalili for they help different nations to understand, respect and love each other. The depth of Japanese art, attitude to colour and shape, mastery of the material are difficult to describe. It is a must-see. The name of the exhibition fully reflects the point of the exposition."
"The display at the Moscow Kremlin Museums starts introducing people of Russia and Japan with each other's history and culture on the threshold of Russian-Japanese Cross-Year 2018. The introduction begins with one of the most interesting epochs in Japanese history—late 19th–early 20th century—the Meiji epoch. Emperor Meiji is one of the most popular figures in Japan. It may be said, that it was just the period when the energy of the Japanese nation, which is still providing the high status of Japan, has originated. Unfortunately, there are not much photographs and materials remained, being the evidence of that period and illustrating all the wealth of the Meiji epoch. That's why it is very important, that here at the exhibition we see living illustrations of that period—amazing exhibits, which are unlikely to have been seen by Japanese themselves."
"This is a unique and incredible show. The kimonos of superb work, fantastic embroidery—just incredibly beautiful costumes which are rare. I've bought a catalogue so as to keep this splendour in memory."
"The Kremlin Museums are my best-loved museums. I do my best to attend exhibition openings so as to admire workmanship of the Museum’s staff in creating each following exhibition project. They all are superb—I can’t say it in other words. At this time—recognize once again the craftsmanship of the people who made magnificent kimonos, worked with metal, crystal, and executed these marvellous screens in the late 19th–early 20th century Japan. The Museum of Oriental Art collects Japanese pieces of art and popularizes it. And we are heartily pleased when other museums held exhibitions on Oriental art which enthralls connoisseurs of beauty."
"This display is the event as much for Russia as for all the artists. This is just the holiday, because we can rarely see worthy works of art which developed in the territory of another country, especially Japan which had always been closed enough. Many people appealed to Japan, including European impressionist painters and Russian painters. But when we see it, we get amazed by not only the craftsmanship but composition and theme they touch upon. I think that this exhibition is a real happening for Russia's artistic world."
"Every time I look forward to new exhibitions' opening and I am surprised by the creative approach concerning the exhibits and the way of presenting them. For one thing, I have never seen such an organization of the display area—very unusual, it reminds me of a Japanese neighbourhood, when you immerse in the atmosphere. And of course, the finest exhibits, shown with great love and regard to visitors, that it is possible to explore the object from every side. Very delicate, awesome and extremely heartwarming. A remarkable exhibition!"
"A luxurious exhibition! The items presented here are impossible to see in any other museum. There are rare works which amaze by their beauty. You could endlessly study patterns on kimonos and the smallest details on metal works of art—all these can be used as the demonstrative guide for studying Japanese national costume, historical facts and their national symbols. Gazing at the exhibits one could find the warmest regards filled in the objects, whether it is a gift or a remembrance. As for me, I was impressed by the embroidered panel 'Cherry Blossom Viewing by Night'. I never saw anything like this one, being made in this technique."
"The decorative arts of Meiji period Japan had always astonished me with their artistic and technical excellence, and I was fascinated by their unparalleled beauty. Back then, I was surprised that so little information was available on Meiji art, and I was inspired to put together an extensive collection covering the 44 years of this remarkable period. The designs and motifs of these magical works capture the appreciation of beauty and emotions inspired by nature, so dear to the Japanese, as well as myths, legends, and the human condition, all of which are the themes which form this exciting exhibition. It also presents a wonderful opportunity to celebrate the special relationship which exists between Japan and Russia".