Today's Hours: Wed - Sun from 10am to 3pm (last entry at 2pm) | 578 Carrall Street Vancouver, British Columbia V6B 5K2 Canada

Sunken Treasures: Asian Ceramics

Loading Events

« All Events

Sunken Treasures: Asian Ceramics



September 16, 2018
November 8, 2018

September 16 November 8

An exhibition of ceramics from shipwrecks found in Pacific seas.

Opening Celebration: Saturday, October 6, 2018 | 2:00 pm-4:00 pm

Cargoes from shipwrecks, filled with silk, tea, spices and prized Chinese and Southeast Asian ceramics, attest to the rich cultural history of the Asian region and the vigour of trade that flourished from the 14th to 19th centuries between Asia, the Americas, and Europe. Chinese junks and Portuguese, Dutch, Spanish and English galleons were among the many ships actively plying the Maritime Silk Road, the Manila to Acapulco route, and beyond.

Ceramic cargoes, laden with highly esteemed pieces of blue and white porcelain, tell the story of wares highly valued throughout Asia, the Middle East and eventually, Europe. Known for their beauty and utility, Asian ceramics offered a wide variety of forms, glazes and designs, which continue to fascinate in the present day.

Presented by the Canadian Society for Asian Arts and Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden, the Sunken Treasures exhibition shines the spotlight on shipwreck ceramics: snapshots in time that expand our knowledge and appreciation of these age-old cultural treasures only recently recovered from the bottom of the sea.

Additional programming

October 6, 2-4pm | Scott Williams Lecture: “Lost Asian Treasures: the Manila Galleon Wrecks of North America”

About Scott Williams

Scott Williams is an archaeologist with over 30 years of experience working in the Pacific Northwest and Oceania. A graduate of the University of Hawaii and Washington State University, Scott worked on archaeological projects throughout the islands of the Pacific and Australia, before joining the Washington State Department of Archaeology and Historic Preservation. In 2008, he became the Cultural Resources Program Manager at the Washington State Department of Transportation, supervising the agency’s staff of archaeologists and historians. Scott has been the Principal Investigator for the Beeswax Wreck Research Project for twelve years. He is one of the founding members and Director of the non-profit Maritime Archaeological Society in Oregon and is a Board member of the Pacific North West Archaeological Society.

October 21, 2-4pm | Family Day Event Coordinated by Julie Grundvig
Explore Asian treasures from the deep sea and decorate your own ceramic ware based on traditional designs.

About Julie Grundvig

Julie Grundvig is the founder and director of Museum Bento, an organization that brings Asian art programs to young people. She is a writer and educator, with a specialty in Asian art, history and literature. Julie holds degrees in Classical Chinese literature and Museum Studies and is co-author of twelve travel guides to China and Northeast Asia and has been editor of Yishu: Journal of Contemporary Chinese Art since 2002. Currently, Julie works at York House School as Museum Curator and Archivist.

October 27, 2-4pm | Paula Swart Lecture “Shipwrecked: Treasures and Monsoon Winds Ceramics from Ancient Shipwrecks”

About Paula Swart

Paula Swart is an art historian with expertise in Asian art, culture and history, and has spent most of her professional life as a Curator of Asian Studies. She is a lecturer in the Continuing Education Departments of the University of British Columbia and the University of Victoria where she has taught a series of courses related to UNESCO World Heritage. Paula holds degrees in Sinology, Asian art history, Chinese history, and archaeology, having spent two years studying in China. She speaks five languages, including Mandarin, has published several books and numerous articles on the art and architecture of Asian cultures and lectured on Dutch galleon trade, exploration and their Asian cargoes.