Exhibition and Live Discussion with Iris Yau: ‘Opium, Silk and the Missionaries in China’

Exhibition 18th May – 26th June: ‘Opium, Silk and the Missionaries in China’

The Brunei Gallery at SOAS presents an auto-ethnography-inspired exhibition curated and produced by curator and lecturer Iris Yau, held until the 26 June. Iris’ Silk Route’ draws on several collections which use artefacts to retell one of the largely forgotten histories between Britain and China in the 19th Century.

Despite all the difficulties during the pandemic in the UK, Iris and the Brunei Gallery team have put up an exhibition with 97 items, large and small (including the ‘1815 Chinese New Testament’ from SOAS Special Collections & Archives;  a 19th Century opium smoking set from Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew;  a silk item made of over 100 small pieces; an item required Iris’s family in Hong Kong to recover and special delivered it to London…), on loan from archives and private collections worldwide for the exhibition. This exhibition was produced with the support of and in collaboration with King’s College London; Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew; Royal Asiatic Society; SOAS Special Collections & Archives, uncover hidden gems in archives, a ‘Third Place’ to learn and reflect from history.

Read more about the free exhibition, pre-booking required.

Live gallery discussion 17th June 6-7pm

SOAS is also pleased to welcome you to a livestream gallery discussion with the curator about the exhibition. Sign up via Eventbrite here!

About Iris Yau

Iris Yau is a Lecturer and Curator at University of the Arts London, a Fellow of The Higher Education Academy and a Fellow of The Royal Society of Arts.  She was born and raised in Hong Kong, an international alumna of London College of Fashion.  Prior to teaching in higher education Iris was Global Fashion Buying and Sourcing Specialist in London, worked for International Fashion House including YSL & Burberry.  Combining fashion range building with critical pedagogy; research, and feedback from ‘Iris’s Silk Route’,  Iris has written and guest-curated this exhibition ‘Opium, Silk and the Missionaries in China’ for the Brunei Gallery. Twitter | Iris’ Silk Route