Blue: Alchemy of a Colour

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Blue: Alchemy of a Colour

Immerse yourself in all things blue at the NGV International’s latest showcase

Blue: Alchemy of a colour is an exhibition that aims to explore the meaning and history of the colour blue through intricate textiles, ceramics and superb works on paper from the seventh century, presenting elaborate works involving this widely used shade.

This highly prized colour, in particular pigments of cobalt and indigo, has been used in all its forms to help manifest the finest works of art throughout history. From signifying wealth and status in the Chinese court to symbolising the infinite meaning of the Hindu God Vishnu, the colour blue has long been a powerful symbol in the history of art.

Over 70 works will be showcased at the Rio Tinto Gallery of Asian Art. Expect to see pieces highlighting the exquisiteness and versatility of blue, such as Japanese shibori dyed garments, a traditional Burmese jacket superbly decorated in indigo and stunning Chinese and European ceramics. The exhibition features many examples of Indigo dye, which is found and used across Asia where it is commonly grown. The Dong people of Burma beat indigo dye to create a glossy finish, which signifies wealth. In Central Asia, the age and marital status of Turkmen women is displayed in the colour of their embroidered cloaks, with indigo the popular choice for young, married women.

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