K11 Craft & Guild Foundation Conserves Traditional Chinese Craftsmanship with the First Immersive Digital Art Fair – ‘Voyage de Savoir-Faire’ in Guangzhou

Following Guangzhou, KCG will bring the exhibition to Wuhan, Hong Kong, Paris and other global cities to share this celebration of Chinese Savoir-Faire.

GUANGZHOU, China, April 4, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — K11 Craft & Guild Foundation (KCG), the renowned Hong Kong based charity for arts and culture, is delighted to announce the start of its Voyage de Savoir-Faire exhibition at K11 Art Mall in Guangzhou. The exhibition is the second stop on its world tour. The Voyage de Savoir-Faire exhibition is a celebration of craftsmanship and the beauty of traditional techniques in creating gilt-decorated lacquer. The exhibition explores the cultural and artistic zenith of “The Time When East Meets West” alongside a diverse range of exquisite crafts from old and contemporary China showcased in a new and unique digital light, running from 30 March to 25 June.

Voyage de Savoir-Faire: K11’s first immersive digital exhibition on Chinese craftsmanship.

Curated to examine a period in history where Chinoiserie fascinated a European audience, Voyage de Savoir-Faire presents breathtaking traditional and contemporary craft seen as never before, using innovative technology to invoke an artistic magic from the past that lives on to this day. Visitors to the exhibition can expect to see a collection of 14 unique antiquities, each one intricately crafted by skilled artisans using time-honored skills. Visitors will embark on a cultural journey to witness the far-reaching global influence of Chinese craft and culture. With 14 sets of intricately detailed gilt-decorated lacquer antiquities collected by the Foundation thoughtfully positioned among vivid contemporary digital displays, the exhibition recreates a whimsical, imaginative world of gold-gilt black lacquer craftsmanship for viewers, transcending time and space.

KCG was founded in 2018, in the hope of conserving and rejuvenating the intangible cultural heritage and creating it as a shared value in society. By showcasing historical treasures and the masterpieces of contemporary artists, KCG encourage young people to explore their own historical and cultural roots, enhance their creativity and expand their horizons to help the development of creative industries and showcase the new power of Chinese culture on the world stage.

Dating back to the early Warring States period and earlier, the craftsmanship of gilt-decorated lacquer has been passed down from generation to generation. By gaining a deeper understanding of this unique Chinese craft, viewers are able to enjoy a deeper level of appreciation when studying these works, as well as other associated crafts and traditions. In addition to the antiquities themselves, the exhibition also provides an opportunity to learn about the cultural significance and history behind each piece.

The Rêve recreates the whimsical experience of “imaginary touring” through an immersive, multi-sensory experience

To create Voyage de Savoir-Faire, contemporary artists and artisans joined hands to present a modern perspective on a thousand-year tradition. The exhibition also serves as a way to conserve and rejuvenate this unique and fast-disappearing Chinese craftsmanship. Winning the admiration of European royalty, including wealthy collectors like Queen Marie Antoinette of France, Chinese lacquerware rose to great popularity beginning in the late 17th century. So great was the demand for these beautiful works that the Palace of Versailles employed craftsmen specifically to produce lacquerware in the Chinese style.

Across five exhibition areas, Voyage de Savoir-Faire takes viewers taken back in time. In Dérive, the birth story of Chinese traditional gilt-decorated lacquer is told and the journey of exploration into “The Time When East Meets West” begins. In Voyage, we see the start of trans-continental shipping and the ancient worlds of China’s Kangxi, the “Light of Asia” and Louis XIV, the “Sun King” intersect. The Rêve recreates the whimsical experience of “imaginary touring” through an immersive, multi-sensory experience, perfectly presenting exquisite lacquer craftsmanship in the oriental aesthetic. Here, the essence of enjoying the fruits of the craft is reimagined through the experience of simply sitting or lying within this enchanting space.

Gilt-decorated black lacquer artworks by contemporary artist Vincent Cazeneuve

Returning to the present day, the Savoir-faire spotlights efforts to conserve and rejuvenate the craft, with interactive devices detailing the lacquerware creation process intended to educate all visitors. To complete this incredible journey, two sets of gilt-decorated black lacquer artworks by contemporary artists Weng Jijun and Vincent Cazeneuve are displayed together with a set of digital art by ‘Obvious Art’ in the Au-delà du Rêve finale, demonstrating a modern revival and new application for gilt-decoration.

Traditional Chinese craftsmanship requires active conservation and rejuvenation, but by uniting contemporary artists, art aficionados and new fans alike, K11 Craft & Guild Foundation hopes this exhibition will take visitors on a journey through the history of traditional crafts, highlighting the beauty and value of handmade objects. ‘Vovage de Savoir-Faire’ is a must see for anyone interested in the beauty of traditional crafts and the irreplaceable art of handmade objects.

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About K11 Craft & Guild Foundation

Founded by Adrian Cheng in 2018, K11 Craft & Guild Foundation (KCG) is a registered charity for arts and culture in Hong Kong.

We are cultural crafters who conserve and rejuvenate fast-disappearing Chinese artisanship to create a craft ecosystem with a sustainable, positive social impact. By incorporating Creating Shared Value (CSV) to bring crafts, business and society together, we make crafts more accessible to the community, educate the public with research initiatives and curate collaborations with artisans, aiming to bridge the gap between culture and economy.

Cultural entrepreneur and the founder of K11 Art Foundation and Culture for Tomorrow, Adrian Cheng established the charity with aims to conserve and rejuvenate fast-disappearing Chinese artisanship, in addition to Creating Shared Value (CSV) for society. Adrian believes that the power of business lies not only in generating profits, but also in supporting and empowering other community stakeholders, as well as promoting a new vision of CSV to bring a sustainable, positive impact to the local community.