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The OCS is delighted to announce an exclusive guided viewing of Art Deco ”“ The France-China Connection with one of the exhibition’s curators Dr. Isabelle Frank, Director of the Exhibition Gallery at City University of Hong Kong.

The Art Deco style flourished in Europe, Asia, and the Americas from the 1920s to the 1940s. It originated in France and was named after the 1925 International Exhibition of Modern Decorative and Industrial Arts held in Paris. Art Deco’s forms capture the spirit of the modern age (cars, aeroplanes, electricity, telephones), and was embraced internationally. From Canada, the United States and Brazil, to Australia and Asia, French architects and designers built banks, cinemas, hotels, even palaces and private houses. In the early years of the Chinese Republic, led by Sun Yat-sen, Art Deco was widely adopted from 1929 onwards. The history of Art Deco in China, and of the reciprocal influences between French and Chinese artists, remains to be written. This exhibition is a step towards initiating deeper interest in such a history, while also proposing fruitful areas for future scholarship.

Featuring over 300 objects from museums, galleries and private collectors in France, Hong Kong and Shanghai, this exhibition includes works of art and design that exemplify the versatility, originality and adaptability of the Art Deco movement. Through furniture, sculptures, paintings, posters, fashion, ceramics, glassware, jewellery, and other works of decorative arts, the exhibition examines the origins of Art Deco in France, and also the influence of Chinese arts and craftsmanship on the development of this important art movement.

Isabelle Frank is Director 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.

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