News & events > Asia-Europe: 2500 years of exchange
06 Jun 2010 - 10 Oct 2010

Asia-Europe: 2500 years of exchange

To mark the 8th ASEM (Asia-Europe Meeting) summit, the Centre for Fine Arts, Belgium (BOZAR) is presenting an exhibition that looks at the historical, philosophical, economic, and cultural links between Asia and Europe, and between the Asian countries themselves. Trade and religion are the threads running through this absorbing voyage of discovery through Asia. From the 25th of June till 10th October 2010 the exhibition A Passage to Asia throws light on 2,500 years of exchange between Asia and Europe via a selection of over 300 objects. From ancient times, it includes imposing burial urns, ritual bronze "Dongson" drums, and sophisticated jewellery in gold, glass, and semi-precious stones, alongside Buddhist and Hindu images from India and South-east Asia. The spread of Islam and Christianity led to the intensive production and trading of ivories, manuscripts, miniatures, and liturgical objects. Old maps and illustrated travellers' tales give an idea of the travelling conditions of the time. Mongol weaponry from the time of Genghis Khan conjures up images of the Silk Road and world conquest. Other highlights include expensive textiles from India, superbly woven and decorated, whose use as a means of payment persisted into the 19th century. The exhibition also presents recent discoveries made by underwater archaeology: the cargoes of shipwrecks that have preserved merchandise from the East down the centuries, as in a time capsule, untouched by human hand. The works of art in A Passage to Asia form part of the cultural heritage of 16 Asian ASEM countries. ASEM stands for "Asia-Europe Meeting", a political-economic organisation that brings together the 27 member states of the European Union and 16 Asian countries: Brunei, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Laos, Malaysia, Mongolia, Myanmar, Pakistan, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam. The ASEM summit will take place in Brussels on 4 and 5 October 2010. For more information and articles related to this link, please refer to:- Kenson Kwok: A Passage to Asia is a labour of love In this video clip curator Jan Van Alphen (BOZAR) and co-curator Kenson Kwok (founder director of the Asian Civilisations Museum in Singapore) talk about the exhibition.