Developments in European and Asian art across two centuries are presented in the sense of a global laboratory,
in which the opposition and cooperation of cultures leads to an occupation with ones own traditions.
The exhibition GLOBAL:LAB. Art as a Message. Asia and Europe 15001700 concentrates from a historical perspective on a theme that is just as current now as it was then: art as a means of communication for cultures. GLOBAL:LAB thematizes epochs that although far from our own in terms of history, are closely related to ours. They are times with
contradictions in many areas, full of inventions and reciprocal discoveries. The exhibition uses a modern language, familiar themes in new perspectives, and does not shy away from confrontations. The presentation is meant to activate the development of a non-European centered point of view. By characterizing the unique features of every cultural circle, the contacts and confrontations with the Other visible in the art of this era become comprehensible for the beholder. The core of the exhibition is the idea of viewing the Hamzanama a Mogul manuscript from the sixteenth century as one of the key works of an epoch in which the great cultures of Europe and Asia increasingly came into contact. The artistic forms of expression of the Islamic world are shaped not only by ornaments, but as the Hamzanama shows, also by the narrative and visual depictions of its protagonists. The sixty miniatures preserved at the MAK the largest cohesive collection of the manuscript can be seen for the first time as a whole, together with the text pages. Selected objects relevant to the period from the assets of the MAK collection and loans from European museums document developments in the years 1500 to 1700 in the areas of history, art, crafts, science, trade, etc and provide a comprehensive overview of the culturally defining exchange taking place at this time.
Themes included in the exhibition Representation of royalty in Asia and Europe. The new view of the world: trade and diplomacy. Art networks. The depiction of the foreigner. The human at the heart of art (Europe). Ornament and narrative (Orient). Symbol and landscape
Curators Johannes Wieninger, MAK Curator Asia; Angela Völker, MAK Curator Textiles and Carpets
Scientific cooperation Brigitte Moser
Catalogue "GLOBAL:LAB. Art as a Message. Asia and Europe 1500-1700", edited by Peter Noever, with contributions by Bert Fragner, Barbara Frischmuth, Salman Rushdie, Wheeler M. Thackston, Angela Völker, Johannes Wieninger a.o., 368 pages, 260 color illustrations, MAK Vienna/Hatje Cantz, Ostfildern, 2009. 49,80 MAK Design Shop
Artprints of highest quality of "Hamzanama" designs out of the unique MAK collection, available at the MAK Design Shop