Images of Macau: East-West Exchange and the Derwent Collection
Through an examination of the Derwent Collection, this book explores the changing relations between China and the West, as well as the transformation of Macau, over the course of the 18th and 19th centuries. The volume features more than 150 artworks and it includes oil paintings, watercolour paintings and sketches – collectively known as “China coast paintings” – as well as block-prints and photographs. These artworks are now stored at HKBU.
The era on which this volume focuses was a time of upheaval for Sino-European relations, characterised by the humiliation of the Qing Dynasty in the two Opium Wars (1840–42, 1856–60). In terms of Macau’s history, it was a time in which the city's role as a centre of East-West exchange diminished drastically with the rise of Hong Kong, and in which urban expansion and modernisation in the northern Macau Peninsula was ignited by the removal of the city walls, beginning in the 1860s. In addition to these material circumstances, the predominant media used to record these changes also shifted, from paintings and block-prints to photographs.