Rosewood Serviced Hotel Guangzhou
Historically, port cities have always been hubs of interaction: focal points, where knowledge and ideas were shared between different cultures. Guangzhou is no exception. While it has made an indelible mark on world trade, it has been pivotal in the dissemination of world culture. And the link between trade and culture is clearly intwined in the history of the city. Just as European merchants would seek out the exquisite handcrafts of China in the many workshops of what was old Canton, Chinese artists created ‘export paintings’ for foreign visitors that blended Oriental and Occidental styles, while Western artists aboard the East India Company trading ships met Europe’s appetite for Chinese imagery, fictionalising the idea of China in chinoiserie icons. Thus Guangzhou was made a city of movement, exchange and dynamism - not only of commodities, but of art and ideas.
The central theme devised by PAA for the Serviced Hotel Collection at Rosewood Guangzhou centres upon Exotica. At its foundation, cultural “otherness” first captured the public imagination across Europe in the 16th and 17th centuries as new worlds were discovered with Eastern trade in the Age of Discovery.
As a chapter of art history, art with “the charm of the unfamiliar”, particularly Oriental, that is Middle Eastern or Asian, came to prominence in the late 1800’s, also the point at which Guangzhou and her geographical importance was being harnessed by world traders.
Sparking an interest in discovery and wonderment more broadly, Exotica encompasses the movements of Humanism and Primitivism, favoured by elements of fantasy through tales of distant places that were relayed by word of mouth and visual conjuring.
Today the collection at Rosewood Guangzhou’s Serviced Hotel references Exotica in its purest form and its possible definition for our own age. As Guangzhou develops into a city of the future, the subject is as much about re-conceiving the past as well as prospective destiny, bringing together stories from artists all over the world and celebrating our distinction and what of the cultural “other” we find wonder in. Rosewood Guangzhou’s collection therefore becomes extensive in both content and style, encompassing historical Guangzhou from the 18th century, Western masters, contemporary Chinese innovators and traveling artists to China from all over the world from today just as they did nearly four hundred years ago.