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Cherry Blossoms and Edelweiss

St. Gallen


On the occasion of the 150th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Switzerland and Japan, the St. Gallen Textile Museum is hosting the exhibit "Kirschblute & Edelweiss. Der Import des Exotischen" (Cherry Blossoms and Edelweiss, Exotic Imports). It is dedicated to the many-layered relations between the Swiss textile industry and East Asia, above all Japan and China. As early as 1859--five years before official diplomatic contacts were established - a group of merchants from St. Gallen took a first exploratory trip to East Asia, together with representatives of the Neuchatel watch industry. While they initially focused on opening new sales markets, the "Asia fever" that took hold of all of Europe in the 1870s subsequently turned the effort into an active cultural exchange between Japan, China and Switzerland, which has continued to this day. Kimonos, Katagami, woodcuts, drawings, sample books and other objects from the museum's rich Asian collection illustrate the convergence of three highly developed textile regions. The exhibit offers insight into a tension-filled history between inspiration and misunderstanding, myth and market, which has...

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