‘A World of Beauty’ at the Pudong Art Museum in Shanghai
Conceived and designed by a world-renowned Italian designer Aldo Cibicand his partner Joseph Dejardin, the exhibition ‘A World of Beauty’ at the Pudong Art Museum (MAP) reveals a world in which China and ItalyShanghai, and Naples, celebrating timeless beauty –‘The beauty that reveals itself spontaneously, an expression of harmony in the world of nature, in the world of man, and in the great works of the human race, beyond the differences of culture and matter.’ The exhibition presents masterpieces from the National Archaeological Museum of Naples, including statuespaintings, mosaics, bronzes, and glasses, and adds them to the dark, labyrinthine spaces and bold colors of the Chinese museum.
‘A World of Beauty’ is curated by Francesco D’Arelli, Director of the Italian Cultural Institute in Shanghai, Mario Grimaldi and Clara Tosi Pamphili, and is the first chapter of a new collaboration between Shanghai Lujiazui Development (Group) Company Limited and the company is curating ‘A World of Beauty’. Italian Cultural Institute in Shanghai (Consulate General of Italy in Shanghai).
the exhibition presents masterpieces from the national archaeological museum of Naples | all images courtesy of the Museum of Art Pudong (MAP)
a kaleidoscope of dreams from the past
The ‘A World of Beauty’ exhibition at MAP (find out more here) is described as ‘a kaleidoscope of dreams from the past’ which proves to visitors that beauty is a lasting experience that defies definition. It represents the appeal of antiquity, a form of beauty that has survived to this day in its original form. The exhibition is an introduction to the beauty and power of the art and culture of Roman life and its lasting influence on Western culture. Large-scale marble sculptures, bronzes, frescoes, friezes, and everyday objects tell a story of how beauty can be an expression of both love and power.
Aldo Cibic and Joseph Dejardin (find out more here) designed the exhibition not only to tell a wider story about the beauty of Roman life and culture, but also to highlight the individual experience of each piece as a thing of beauty in itself. Brightly lit exhibits in dark rooms with bold colors create a very strong emotional experience. At the same time, a series of enclosures divide the spaces and create a labyrinth through which the experience slowly expands. These enclosures allow a personal experience of the exhibits and the use of openings to provide views of spaces and objects. Throughout the exhibition, key passages are highlighted to highlight core concepts, encouraging thoughtful engagement with the exhibits.
the exhibition features heavily illuminated sculptures in dark rooms with bold colours
emphasizing the beauty of cultural exchange
The first floor of the museum features an introductory film explaining the importance of the National Archaeological Museum of Naples and a pair of Aphrodite sculptures that set the tone of the exhibition. Moving on to the upper levels, visitors find a chronology and mapping of the Roman Empire that follows the Han Dynasty, emphasizing the fundamental importance of culture and beauty within civilizations and the importance of their exchange.
In the following rooms, household objects, architectural elements, frescoes, and sculptures are used to describe the role of beauty in everyday life, both physical and spiritual. The exhibition then explores the presence of beauty in the projection and exercise of power, through violence and through sports and iconography. The penultimate series of rooms explores the relationship between love and beauty, ending with a room featuring Apollo and Venus. The exhibition concludes with excerpts from Paolo Sorrentino’s film ‘The Great Beauty,’ which shows how the enduring beauty of Roman culture permeates society to this day.
Aldo Cibic seeks to highlight the individual experience of each piece
large-scale marble sculptures come together to tell a story of how beauty can be an expression of love and power