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  • Writer's pictureART HISTORY

Rare Bites: Yvonne Low Lunchtime Talk. Export Chinoiserie: Silk, Shawls and Beautiful Things

Join us for the latest Rare Bites lunchtime talk about a unique item in the Fisher Library collection. Date: Thursday 24 August 2023 Time: 1:00pm - 1:30pm Location: Fisher Seminar Room (218), level 2. REGISTER HERE

Rare Books & Special Collections at the University of Sydney Library holds a 1928 sample book with sumptuous swatches of hand embroidery by Canton textile manufacturer Wo Sang – it offers a glimpse into the rich export industry of lush silks and embroidered shawls in the early twentieth century.

Yvonne invites us to consider the expansive networks of trade between Europe and Asia, where suppliers and manufacturers of silk goods and textiles have played a central role in mediating the production of luxurious things bought and sold across the world. Wo Sang’s sample book shows a variation in the designs of the flower motif and pattern that is similar to and reminiscent of other popular export items such as the Manila Shawls. In this talk, Yvonne discusses the export of fashionable chinoiserie and explores the appeal of red and pink hues and large floral motifs tracing where they may be used in apparel and interior furnishings from China to London.


Speaker: Dr. Yvonne Low is a lecturer in Asian Art at the University of Sydney. She researches on Southeast Asian art, with an interest in Asian diaspora and transnationalism, women’s history, and digital methods. She is currently an advisory committee member for The Flow of History (AWARE/AAA), The Womanifesto Way (Power Institute, DFAT, 4A) and co-developer of digital tool, Artists Trajectories Map.

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