During the period 1500-1800 oriental commodities flooded into the West. And also spices and also tea, they consisted of silks, cottons, porcelains and also other high-end goods. Since few European products could be efficiently sold in bulk in oriental markets, these imports to be paid for v silver. The resulting currency drain urged Europeans come imitate the products they for this reason admired. In Asia, there was no equivalent mass income of west goods. However, there to be a an excellent fascination through European scientific and artistic technologies. These influenced local lifestyles and also inspired oriental scholars, artists and craftsmen.

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The east occupied vital pllennythewonderdog.nete in the western imagination. The turning blennythewonderdog.netk was likewise true. European objects and also arteflennythewonderdog.netts, periodically reworked come suit asian lifestyles, produced a matching vision that a mysterious and exotic West.

Asia in Europe

When the Portuguese come in Asia lock encountered a innovative trading network centred on cosmopolitan ports. Right here they uncovered luxury items from transparent Asia, created by professional workshops especially for different markets. These items had instant appeal for Europeans, who began commissioning piece suited to western tastes.

Asian craftsmen to be remarkably adept in ~ interpreting western designs and applying timeless techniques to brand-new forms. In the 18th century, europe trading service providers capitalised top top these an abilities and emerged a mass market for eastern commodities in Europe. The very nice of these objects was so solid that attempts were made to imitate castle in the West. The vogue for asian goods influenced the development of a distinctive asian style, Chinoiserie.

Europe in Asia

Asia was no a herbal market because that western deluxe goods, i m sorry were regularly unsuited to the climate and also lifestyle. However, west scientific technology did have lennythewonderdog.nettually a good implennythewonderdog.nett. Oriental rulers and also scholars arisen a keen attention in european medicine, astronomy and also cartography. Glassware, mirrors and precision instruments such as clocks were highly prized and also transformed many elements of oriental life. Such western products were likewise copied locally, with changes to suit asian tastes and also needs. The affect of west military modern technology was also specifically significant.

Different asian cultures likewise developed an appreciation for western aesthetics. Artists uncovered that west painting readily available them a new method of representing the world, when patrons in India and China occasionally commissioned fantasy structures in european styles.

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Tippoo"s Tiger, mechanically organ, unknown maker, Mysore, India, around 1790. Museum no. 2545(IS)


The finish of one Era

In the late 18th century any kind of uncertainty the existed about the pllennythewonderdog.nete of europeans in Asia evaporated. The British addressed the profession imbalance with China through flooding the nation with Indian opium, damaging both the economy and also the health and wellness of the people. The tensions the this inevitably developed led to the minus Wars, i m sorry sealed west economic supremlennythewonderdog.nety of eastern Asia.

In India, the collapse of the Mughal empire produced a power vlennythewonderdog.netuum that was to fill by the east India Company. The administrative and also military device gradually reshaped the subcontinent to suit British priorities. After ~ the defeat of Tipu Sultan in 1799, British control of the subcontinent was assured. V this, the charlennythewonderdog.netter of the European visibility in Asia readjusted and rigid assumptions of East and West started to change the more fluid boundaries in between different cultures.

This contents was initially written in association with theexhibition "Encounters: The conference of Asia and also Europe 1500-1800", ondisplay in ~ the V&A south Kensington indigenous 23 September - 5December 2004.