Date: Saturday 4 March 2023
Registration: 9:45 – 10:00am
Guided viewing: 10:00 – 11:30am
Place: The Indra and Harry Banga Gallery
The Oriental Ceramic Society is delighted to present an exclusive guided viewing of the exhibition ‘Amber: Baltic Gold’ at The Indra and Harry Banga Gallery, City University of Hong Kong.
The exhibition brings together 240 impressive amber artworks from Europe and Asia that reveal amber’s remarkable artistic and scientific significance.
Amber is a beautiful and fascinating organic material that for centuries was believed to be a gemstone. Treated like a rare mineral, amber is simply a fossilized form of resin secreted by different plants. The most famous type comes from the Baltic regions, formed from the sap of extinct conifers 100 million years ago. As it drips down the tree, the sap often traps insects and vertebrates, which are then preserved in the amber, offering rare clues about the evolution of species millions of years ago.
Divided into six sections, the exhibition highlights key moments in amber’s artistic trajectory over the last 3,000 years. The first introduces its origins and its significance for scientific research; the second presents ancient amber objects from the Baltic regions; the third focuses on amber art during the Liao dynasty and in medieval Europe; the fourth traces amber’s popularity in the Ming and Qing dynasties, in contrast to its decreasing use in 19th-century Europe; the fifth explores amber’s role in 20th-century Latvia; and the last looks at amber in contemporary artworks. The exhibition concludes with a few examples of fake or composite amber masquerading as original pieces.
Isabelle Frank is Consulting Curator of the Exhibition Gallery at City University of Hong Kong. Since joining City University, she has curated and co-curated exhibitions that connect technology and the arts across Western and Asian cultures. An art historian by training, she received her doctorate from Harvard University and has taught at Bard College. Frank has been Associate Dean for academic affairs at the New School, New York, and was Dean of Fordham School of Professional and Continuing Studies in New York. She has authored The Theory of the Decorative Arts (Yale University Press, 2000) and Die Rhetorik des Ornaments (Fink Verlag, 2001), and articles on Italian Renaissance art and decorative art.
Please note that all visitors will receive individual QR codes for entry to the university campus. Pre-registration is required. Drop-ins will not be entertained. You are required to wear a face mask.