Esthétiques de l'Amour at the Quai Branly Museum
Among the spectacular items in the Asian collections of the Quai Branly museum, the ancient objects collected in the far east of Siberia in the late 19th and early 20th centuries are of particular interest, representing the interaction between the world of men, untamed nature and the world of the spirits.
Protective robes in fish skin with ritual accessories decorated with symbolic volutes and spirals, and everyday objects combining refined yet natural materials and decoration: eclectic and little known objects from the Amur river basin blend aesthetic elegance and ethnographic interest. These are among the treasures of the Quai Branly museum's collection held today.
The exhibition will present the decorative art of the peoples of the Amur River basin; an art which embodies meaning and reveals the specific ontological construction of these peoples in their relationship with the visible and invisible world.
The peoples – Nivkh, Nanai, the Ainu, Orotch and Hezhe (a Chinese minority) – founded their ways of life prior to the mid-20th century on the river Amur, which was their source of life and prosperity. The Nivkh, Nanai and the Ainu are linked by the shared practice of the bear ritual; all of these populations are linked by the same ethnolinguistic matrix and the same practices of hunting and fishing for salmonids. The ancient Chinese sources describe the inhabitants of this region of the Amur River as "barbarians with fish skin"...
Musée du Quai Branly
37, Quai Branly