- Europe & Africa
A New Perception – View on China
Oct 25, 2017 To Jun 30, 2018
Detail: Archaeological findings, such as silk and jade, throughout the area of the Roman Empire prove that these valuable goods already found their way from the Han Empire to Europe two thousand years ago. In the Age of Enlightenment (ca. 1650–1800), the upper class was eager for Chinese luxury goods, e.g. porcelain, tea, lacquer work, or silk. Moreover, sophisticated accomplishments, such as the concept of order in Confucianism or an education-oriented civil service culture, shaped Europe’s view on China.
Geopolitical interests resulted in a sudden change in Europe’s perception of China in about 1800. In the course of industrialisation, the West needed new sales markets and intended to expand its political-economic sphere of influence. The period of the 19th century was characterised by wars between China and Europe, ranging from the so-called Opium Wars (1839–1842 and 1856–1860) to the Boxer Rebellion of 1900, in the suppression of which the Imperial and Royal Army of Austria-Hungary was also involved. Once positively connoted Chinese values changed to the opposite and were perceived as despotic, cruel, and backwardly.
Daily except Wednesday
10 am to 6 pm
until 9 pm