Asian Art in the World

Historical Influences on Culture and Society




The principal aim of this three-day conference (held in November 2022 in Lisbon, Portugal), was to highlight the important contribution made by Asia to world art and universal civilisation, from the remote ages of the Silk Road, and its land and sea routes, to the modern age of globalisation.

Guest speakers presented comprehensive and partial perspectives of the strong or enduring ties and links established among the various regional Asian cultures present at any one time in history. These included the economic and cultural bonds that every single one of them forged with the Western cultures they came across, commencing from the period of the Roman Empire until the end of the Middle Ages and then from the first globalisation to the present day.

Finally, it was our intention to show the huge prestige afforded to the many artistic cultures of Asia in the Western world. This was based primarily on admiration for their outstanding technical skills as seen in the use of a variety of materials, some of them unknown in the West, but also on general acknowledgment of the exemplary capacity to imaginatively reinvent motifs, narratives and symbolisms shown in these works of art, not to mention the many scenarios and rituals underlying those artistic manifestations, ranging from the visual and decorative arts to the performing arts.


Jorge Santos Alves — PORTUGAL
Professor at the Catholic University
Fernão Mendes Pinto’s “Malay Mediterranean”. An Asian geopolitical concept in a modern Europe bestseller?

Valentina Bruccoleri — ITALY
PhD, Researcher, Ca’ Foscari University
From the Royal Banquet to the “Porcelain House”: Use and Display of Chinese Porcelain in the Islamic World.

Francisco Capelo — PORTUGAL
Private Collector
A Traveller's Eye, 25 years travelling in Asia.

Maureen Cassidy-Geiger — USA
Independent Curator and Scholar
Deciphering Asian forms and motifs in European porcelain from the Meissen manufactory.

Cristina Castel-Branco — PORTUGAL
Landscape Architect, PhD, University of Lisbon
Eastern voyages and the fascination of exotic gardens.

Francisco Clode — PORTUGAL
Director of DRAC Madeira
The Archipelago of Madeira in the context of the Portuguese maritime expeditions. Casa Colombo-Museum of Porto Santo.

Alexandra Curvelo — PORTUGAL
Associate Professor at the Nova University of Lisbon
The circulation of folding screens in the early modern world.

Jessica Hallett — PORTUGAL
Senior Curator, Calouste Gulbenkian Museum
Crossing Cultures, Crossing Time: China, Iraq and Europe, c. 800

Tianlong Jiao — HONG KONG
Head Curator of Hong Kong Palace Museum
Linking Asia and Beyond: Presenting Chinese Arts with a New Perspective.

Christiaan Jörg — THE NETHERLANDS
Professor Emeritus at the University of Leiden
Functional Beauty. Japanese lacquer and porcelain for Europe.

Maria Antónia Pinto de Matos — PORTUGAL
Director of the Museum of the Presidency in Lisbon
From China to the world: ceramics and tea, two age-old commodities.

Rossella Menegazzo — ITALY
Associate professor of East Asian Art History University of Milan ‘La Statale’
Japanese aesthetics in Western contemporary new perspectives of space, materials and colour.

Brigitte Nicolas — FRANCE
Chief Curator of the Musée des Compagnies des Indes
From China to Chinoiserie, the example of the Chinese fan trade and its legacy.

Sonia Ocaña-Ruiz — MEXICO
Professor at the Universidad Juárez Autónoma de Tabasco
Novohispanic Enconchados. The Impact of Namban Lacquer, and Beyond.

Clement Onn — SINGAPORE
Principal Curator, Asian Export Art and Peranakan at Asian Civilisations Museum
A Transpacific Cabinet.

Alexandre Nobre Pais — PORTUGAL
Director of the Tile Museum in Lisbon
The blue, and the binding sea. Influences and dissemination of Portuguese 17th century ceramics.

Fernando António Baptista Pereira — PORTUGAL
President of the Faculty of Fine Arts of the University of Lisbon
Identifying Indo-Portuguese Art and its impact in worldwide collections.

William R. Sargent — USA
Consulting Curator
America and China “adventurous pursuits in commerce…”.

Nuno Senos — PORTUGAL
Associate Professor at the Nova University
Asia in Portuguese homes in the 16th century.

Cora Würmell — GERMANY
Curator of East Asian Porcelain, Porzellansammlung, Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden
Asia in Dresden: Augustus the Strong’s exceptional porcelain collection

Li Zhongmou — CHINA
Former deputy-director of the Shanghai Museum
Recent Discoveries, Exhibitions & Researches on the Silk Road in Mainland China.


Museu Calouste Gulbenkian
Fundação Oriente
Barta & Partner
Sapientia Foundation
Fundação Carmona e Costa
Santa Casa da Misericórdia de Lisboa
Câmara Municipal de Lisboa

Supported by
Fundação das Casas de Fronteira e Alorna
Museu Medeiros e Almeida
Museu Nacional de Arte Antiga
Secretaria Regional de Turismo e Cultura da Madeira
The Art Newspaper


Conference Website