We’re used to seeing old maps with their approximately-shaped continents and countries, but mostly those drawn by westerners.
This new exhibition gives us another point of view, that of Asian travellers, with maps that were not only essential for navigation, but also extremely ornate…
Maps are essential for finding your way during a voyage, and those created by the biggest Asian countries (China, Japan, Korea, India, Vietnam…) starting from the 15th century, are more than just factual – they were practically works of art (rather unusual or something supposed to be so functional).
These historic documents have much to tell us – which countries traded with each other, which routes were used, how colonies were expanded… Other maps – of cities this time – show us have cities developed.
This is the first exhibition of its kind at the Guimet Museum, showing paintings, engravings, manuscripts and objects (some of them huge in size) that give us a rarely-seen view of the world from an Asian standpoint.
For example, try and get your head round the maps that don’t have north pointing upwards… ?
Some pieces on display show the Americans looked to eastern visitors, or neighbourhoods in 1850 in what was to become Tokyo, or Mount Fuji in 1842…
This apparently odd subject turns up endlessly intriguing pieces of extreme beauty, in one of our favourite museums. Definitely worth seeing!
The exhibition Le monde vu d’Asie (The World seen from Asia) is at the Guimet Museum (here) from 16th May – 3rd September 2018
Open every day except Tuesdays from 10am-6pm. Last entrance at 5.15pm
Admission: 11.50€ / 8.5€ (includes acces to the permanent collection)
#Lemondevudasie aura de quoi vous surprendre ! Parmi les trésors de la cartographie asiatique, vous pourrez admirer la fameuse Blue Map, représentant l’empire Qing unifié, prêtée par la @laBnF. Ouverture le 16 mai 2018 ! pic.twitter.com/D6YJXJmHMZ
— Musée Guimet (MNAAG) (@MuseeGuimet) 11 mai 2018
Exposition #lemondevudasie : J – 8 !
La carte géographique monumentale de l’Empire chinois au temps des Ming a pris place dans l’espace d’exposition, prête a être présentée pour la première fois aux visiteurs ! pic.twitter.com/WlDFTJajEq
— Musée Guimet (MNAAG) (@MuseeGuimet) 8 mai 2018