Van Cleef & Arpels To Exhibit 370 Pieces From Collection In Shanghai

Traveling Exhibition Highlights “Timeless Beauty” And “Timeless Value”

Many pieces from the Van Cleef & Arpels collection are inspired by pre-communist China

By this point, China has become a regular destination for traveling exhibitions by the world’s top jewelry brands, from Cartier’s stop at the Forbidden City in 2009 to Bvlgari’s show last year at the National Museum of China. But whereas previous Chinese whistle-stops tended to be geared towards brand-building, the upcoming Shanghai exhibition of 370 pieces from the collection of Van Cleef & Arpels is aimed at confidence-building.

As the head of the Parisian jeweler, Stanislas de Quercize said this week, the world continues to have a crisis of confidence in terms of ultra-luxury, and with the continued enthusiasm towards luxury consumption in China showing little sign of stopping anytime soon, the Shanghai exhibition is an attempt to kick up some optimism.

As the FT Beyondbrics blog notes today:

De Quercize thinks that maybe Europe can even find some solutions to its current woes in China – which after all, was a major source of inspiration for European artists, poets and designers in the 1920s and 1930s, when Shanghai was known as the Paris of the Orient.

“From the 1920s to the 1940s, Europe had a fascination with the Far East, the sense was, it was a better world, and the feeling is the same now: maybe the solutions for a new century can be found in different areas,” he said.

“In Europe we are fascinated with the speed at which China is changing: maybe we will find solutions to the problems we have [there]… We are discovering that other nations are richer than we think. Depth of thinking or culture or refinement can be found in other nations – especially China”.

The Van Cleef & Arpels jewelry exhibition will run at Shanghai’s Museum of Contemporary Art from this May through July.



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