China: Journey to the East


  • Manchester Museum, UK


Reflecting 3000 years of Chinese history and featuring over 100 objects, The British Museum touring exhibition 'China: Journey to the East' explores multiple themes including beliefs & festivals, language & writing.

Briefed by the receiving hosts to design the interior design scheme and interpretation panels, the focus was to create a bold, impacting environment that was both contemporary and stylistic. Consideration was also to be giving to the fact that many objects were very small and of materials that favoured a distinctly dark, natural colour palette. Additionally, the lead curator's recent trip to Wuhan, China was to be incorporated.


In collaboration with the exhibition team, the space was devised as a series of inward facing cases. Bouncing off this and looking to the traditional Chinese craft of paper cutting as a visual inspiration, the design response was a series of oversized wall graphics. The vibrant, colourful illustrations enveloped the exhibition interior to create a dramatic backdrop for the objects, purposely contrasting in colour and scale and giving a contemporary twist and a nod to the modern China of today. Incorporating elements of the existing identity devised by the British Museum, a direct link was drawn with the marketing collateral. Photography from the Wuhan trip was treated to include illustrative flourishes and interpreted as panoramic story panels. Together the design scheme and interpretation served to create a multi-layered experience and a sense of place for 'China: Journey to the East' visitors.

China: Journey to the East - A British Museum Tour supported by BP, a CHINA NOW legacy project

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sarah crossland design. Except image 6 © Manchester Museum. All rights reserved.

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