The Museum of Decorative Arts in Lausanne is staging an exhibition called "In Praise of the Essential." It shows one man's obsession with everyday objects and utensils in China.
It is nearly 40 years since Francois Dautresme was a member of one of the first groups authorised to visit China. While there, he discovered the beauty of utensils, tools and other objects normally thought of in functional rather than aesthetic terms.
Paris-based Dautresme made numerous further visits, touring the countryside where nearly all the objects are made. The result is an important private collection, part of which is now exhibited at Lausanne's Museum of Decorative Arts.
Museum curator Rosmarie Lippuner says many visitors are amazed at the many uses artisans made of bamboo in their workshops: "Everything from furniture to
houses, as well as kitchen utensils. I don't know what they would have done without it."
But not everything is bamboo. The ceramics section reveals that although these are not examples of classical Chinese ceramics, visually they are still very pleasing.
There's another reason why Lippuner is delighted with this exhibition. "Ours is a museum of applied art and design. Occasionally we exhibit anonymous designs so this is an excellent subject for us," she said.
The exhibition ends on March 19, 2000.
From staff member Richard Dawson.
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