6 May – 5 September 2010 / Rooms 90 and 91 / Free
This exhibition displays the world's earliest dated woodblock print on paper. It presents a history of 1,300 years of Chinese printing using the Museum’s collection, one of the finest and most comprehensive outside Asia.
Printing was invented in China around AD 700, creating the longest history of printing in the world. Prints were used in China in different cultural contexts and played an important role in Chinese civilisation.
The exhibition presents for the first time the extraordinary range and quality of the Museum’s collection through a selection of around 120 images from the 8th century AD to the 21st century.
It covers the diverse range of subjects, print methods and uses from the earliest Buddhist prints and imperial engravings to popular prints used in festivals and 21st-century works.