Art Deco.?The France-China Connection

The Art Deco style, which flourished in Europe, Asia, and the Americas from the1920s to the 1940s, was born in France and named after the 1925 International Exhibition of Modern Decorative and Industrial Arts held in Paris. Art Deco came on the heels of Art Nouveau (an elaborate and ornate style) and offered in contrast geometric, simple, and energized shapes that pleased one and all.

Art Deco’s forms captured the spirit of the modern age (cars, aeroplanes, electricity, telephones), and was embraced across the globe. From Canada, the United States and Brazil, to Australia and Asia, French architects and designers built banks, cinemas, grand hotels, even palaces and private dwellings. Over time, local architects adapted the fundamental features of Art Deco to their own culture. Even the young Chinese republic, led by Sun Yat-sen, adopted Art Deco from 1929 on. Therein resided the movement’s originality and resilience.

The history of Art Deco in China, and of the reciprocal influences between French and Chinese artists, still remains to be written. In its modest way, this exhibition hopes to initiate this project, while also proposing fruitful paths for future exploration. The exhibition focuses, first, on the origins of Art Deco in France, then on its shared influences with China (French designers and craftsmen were inspired by Chinese art and techniques), and finally on its development in China.



裝飾藝術的形式定格了新時代氣魄,在汽車、飛機、電力與電話的年代,世界各地皆傾心於裝飾藝術的魅力,從加拿大、美國、巴西,到澳洲、亞洲,都有法國建築師和設計師的藝術足跡;他們建造銀行、電影院、大酒店,甚至皇宮與私人住宅。本地建築師逐漸吸收裝飾藝術的精粹, 融匯到土生土長的文化之中,就連在孫中山領導下新成立的中華民國,自1929年起亦採用了裝飾藝術風格,可見這股藝術新潮的原創性與適應能力。裝飾藝術在中國的歷史,以及中法藝術家的相互影響,仍然未有詳盡記載,是次展覽期望略盡綿力,為推動及探索這個題目鋪設康莊大道。展覽由追溯裝飾藝術在法國的起源開始,繼而探索與中國的互相影響,展示法國設計師及工匠如何受中國藝術及技巧啟發,並闡述這種風格在中國的發展。

Session 1

A New Style for the 20th Century

Session 2

Movement and Motion—The New Spirit of the Time

Session 3

1925: A Turning Point 201

Session 4

Art Deco in China

Session 5

The Refinement and Elegance of Art Deco