Exhibition: Daily life in China. The wood figurines of T’ou-Sè-Wè
From 5 December 2014 to 11 January 2015, the Musée des Tissus and Musée des Arts décoratifs in Lyon will host a special exhibition on a unique collection of wood figurines produced in 1938 at the Jesuit T’ou-Sè-Wè Orphanage in Shanghai [Tushanwan – 土山灣]. The exhibition is organized under a partnership between the Musée des Tissus et des Arts décoratifs and Ecole Normale Supérieure de Lyon (Institut d’Asie orientale).
This collection was offered to Admiral Jules Le Bigot (1883-1965) in acknowledgement for his support during the Sino-Japanese conflict in the city, especially for his decisive role in placing the whole Xujiahui (Zikawei) Jesuit complex under French military protection from the time of the war until June 1940.
This collection of exquisite figurines is, to our knowledge, absolutely unique. They constitute a compete set of 109 characters that depict daily life, mostly that of the common people, in China. The collection was kept intact in a family house for 70 years until Le Bigot’s great-grand-son Ivan Macaux brought it back to light and decided to make this heritage known more widely. The figures were still tied to their presentation trays with thin twine.