The Seductions of the Palate presents Chinese culinary traditions through a hundred objects mainly from the National Museum of China's permanent collection, and complemented by a selection of works from the musée des Arts asiatiques Guimet.
The Seduction of the Palate | Musee Branly | exhibition
As a civilising process that is under way for some seven thousand years, cooking and eating in China is not limited to a simple chronicle of daily behaviour supported by a set of objects; in addition to the mirror of time there appears an impressive chain of discoveries, implications, investigations. In order to appreciate it, it is enough to refer to tableware throughout the ages: Neolithic pottery tableware soon metamorphosed into bronze during the first three royal dynasties (2nd and 1st millennia B.C.), converted into lacquerware (from the 3rd century B.C. ), then into gold and silver tableware on the tables of the palaces of the Tang (618-907), before the definitive triumph of delicate porcelain under the Songs (960-1278).
The exhibition is divided into two main phases: an initial sequence that strongly anchors the phenomenon in its historical context while describing the main stages of its chronological development through different types of tableware, various inventions (including those of noodles and the introduction of tea), the many foodstuffs and preparations etc., followed by a second movement employing a different approach to Chinese cuisine, examining its geographical distribution.
Source: Musee Branly