From April 30 to August 25, 2019, Bvlgari and the Chengdu Museum jointly presented the theme exhibition of the snake, to jointly explore the multiple meanings of the snake in Eastern and Western cultures. Previously, the exhibition was held in Rome, Italy, Singapore, and Tokyo, Japan. As the host city of this exhibition, Chengdu has not only been selected into China’s 24 national historical and cultural cities, but has also successfully ranked among China’s ‘Top Ten Ancient Capitals’. The city’s long history dates back to 4500 years ago and is one of the major cities witnessing the great development of Chinese civilization. After centuries of vicissitudes, the sea is vicissitudes, and Chengdu has been revived like a spirit snake after repeated destruction and reconstruction. The cultural charm of this ancient city has also been polished and toughened by the changes of time. The Chengdu Museum was officially opened at the Daci Temple in Chengdu in 1984. In 2016, the new Chengdu Museum was completed and opened on the west side of Tianfu Square in downtown Chengdu. The new building has a magnificent momentum, and the avant-garde architectural style interprets charming cultural charm. As a unique cultural center, the Chengdu Museum has a rich collection and records a long history of 4,500 years. At the same time, it uses various exhibition forms and contents to build bridges for communication and communication between different cultures. So far, the Chengdu Museum has reached a total of 6.5 million visitors.
Bvlgari and Chengdu Museum co-sponsor a snake-themed exhibition
As a symbol of rebirth, metamorphosis and charm, as well as an endless source of inspiration in Eastern and Western cultures, the spirit snake has always been inextricably linked with human civilization. Since ancient times, the spirit snake has been reborn through molting, and has always maintained a close relationship with the earth. Spirit snakes are sometimes unconsciously winding around to implement self-protection, and sometimes lethal impacts on dangerous predators, all provide a continuous source of inspiration for artists in different fields. We can find ancient creatures like spirit snakes in many myths and legends. Not only that, the spiritual light and mysterious qualities of the spirit snake are worshipped as gods, becoming messengers and guardians in people’s hearts; the spirit snake is also timid and awed by its potential danger and destructiveness.
In the 1940s, Bulgari first transformed its feminine curves into watch bracelets to reinterpret the fascinating totem symbol of the snake. After decades of precipitation, the Serpenti collection has become an outstanding representative of the brand’s bold innovation.
Bvlgari Serpenti bracelet watch, created in 1957, now in private collection
The Spirit Snake Totem contributed a steady stream of inspiration to Bulgari. In tribute to this classic icon, the Bvlgari Collection and the Chengdu Museum co-curated the SerpentiForm Spirit Snake theme exhibition, reviewing the evolution of the classic image of the Spirit Snake across ancient and modern times, presenting the Spirit Snake to many contemporary East and West famous Rich creative inspiration from artists. This is the first time that the SerpentiForm Legendary Snake Exhibition has landed in China. It will deeply combine the Chinese art and cultural background to further explore the multiple charms of the snake and its inspiration for different creations.
Several antiques from Italy and China will make a stunning appearance in this exhibition, conveying the multiple symbolic meanings carried by the spirit snake: it is a totem of worship, a devotion to worship, a guardian spirit to avoid evil, and a human and Messengers of supernatural communication. These valuable exhibits include a bronze tripod from the Shang dynasty (circa 1600 ~ 1046 BC). The utensils are painted with a lifelike snake pattern, which contains evil and evil, and protects the bronze sacrifice. Another wish is a bronze spirit snake statue with wings. The design details of the wings further prove that the ancient snake reptile is regarded as the messenger of communication between humans and supernatural beings. As a spirit beast in ancient myths and legends, ‘Xuanwu’ is well known for its image of the turtle and snake intersection. In ancient times, ‘Xuanwu’ was highly worshipped, symbolizing the eternal immortality of life. In this exhibition, a Ming dynasty (1368 ~ 1644) fused with ‘Xuanwu’ elements will be displayed to the public. In addition, there is a statue that appeared in the 2nd century AD, which vividly shows the shocking scene of Hercules, the young great god in Greek mythology, against the group of snakes by hand. At the same time, in the Roman period (2nd century BC), many gold jewellery made based on the element of the snake will be displayed on the same stage. The jewellery is considered as an ornament to auspicious auspicious signs and will shine in the exhibition. The statues of the Hercules and the group of snake jewels for evil spirits will show two contradictory meanings: snakes are dangerous incarnations, but they can also provide shelter. In addition, the statue of the Egyptian god Osiris in ancient Egyptian mythology shows the profound influence of the conquered national culture on the beliefs of the people of the ancient Roman Empire.
‘Bronze Snake’, created in the Shang Dynasty (ca. 1600-1046 BC)
‘Young Hercules Fighting with Snakes’, 160-180 AD
Several art masters will show their exquisite works, explaining the application of the spirit snake image in the field of contemporary art. These artists include Joan Miró, Alexander Calder, Niki de Saint Phalle, Joana Vasconcelos ), HeriDono, and Philip Taaffe.
‘Snake Shadow’ by Juan Miro, 1978
‘The Moon of Hearts’ by Alexander Calder, 1972
Not only that, Tianchen Times Consulting Co., Ltd. will work with highly respected Chinese art masters to carefully present a number of creative masterpieces, and interpret the inspiration spark generated by the image of the spirit snake in the contemporary art field of China. It is particularly worth mentioning that two pieces of art specially created for this exhibition will be prominently displayed in the exhibition hall. One of them is a huge 18-meter scroll painting by Chengdu artist Yang Mian. Based on the ‘Kowloon Map’ volume created by Southern Song artist Chen Rong, Yang Mian drew this picture using a novel printing color separation mode (CMYK stands for printing color separation, cyan, magenta, yellow, and black). A magnificent masterpiece of art. Another exhibit is the painting ‘Everything for You’ by Sun Hao, which uses the traditional techniques and tools of traditional Chinese painting-rice paper, ink and gold leaf. The creation of this piece is inspired by the Laocoon sculptures now in the Vatican Museums. This large sculpture depicts the situation in which Rao Kong and his two sons were entangled by a snake, showing the struggle and helplessness of human desire. Chinese art master Wu Jian’an will show two pieces of art created last year for Bulgari’s new fantasy concept store in Rome, one of which is a delicate traditional Chinese paper-cut work. The work presents a scene of two giant spirit snakes entangled with each other and fiercely competing for a pair of beautiful butterfly wings, implying the cruel survival competition and abundant creative imagination in the natural world. Other Chinese artists, including Yoada and Wan Duoyun, will also bring amazing exhibits.
‘The Kowloon Map’ by Yang Mian, created in 2019
Everything for You, written by Sun Hao in 2019
The exhibition will also feature costumes from prestigious theaters and fashion archives, including the costumes of the opera Turandot, which was released in 1926 on loan from the Giacomo Puccini Foundation in Italy. In addition, the noble retro evening dress will also show the important role played by the snake snake totem in creating a playful but charming style for women.
At the end of the exhibition, you can admire the beautiful Serpenti works and some private collections from the Bvlgari Brand Archive. Exhibits include early Bulgari works using Tubogas’ ‘gas pipe’ technology, as well as realistic works decorated with gold scales or multiple colors of enamel. Bulgari’s recent works and some of the first exhibits in the archive collection will also be on the same stage, showing visitors the evolving charm of the spirit snake totem in immortal time and the endless benefits brought to Bulgari. creativity.
Bvlgari Serpenti bracelet watch, created in 1958, now in private collection
Bvlgari Collection Serpenti Necklace, created in 1969
The exclusive content of the SerpentiForm show will also be shared on the official Bulgari WeChat Mini Program. In addition, through the augmented reality experience, viewers can explore and appreciate the digital art works “hidden” in the exhibition area, and fully appreciate the technological charm of this exhibition. For more information, please visit www.serpentiform.bulgari.com.