Cherry Blossom & Edelweiss
The Import of the Exotic
On the occasion of the 150th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Japan and Switzerland, the Textile Museum St. Gallen presents the exhibition “Cherry Blossom & Edelweiss. The Import of the Exotic” which dedicates itself to the influence of Eastern Asia on Swiss textile design.
A fascinating chapter in textile history begins in 1859 when merchants from St. Gallen initiate a first exploratory trip to Eastern Asia. While initial interest lay primarily in opening up new markets, a lively cultural exchange between Japan, China, and Switzerland developed as a further result, significantly influencing Swiss textile production after 1870 with the beginning of “Asia fever”.
Kimonos, katagamis, woodcuts, drawings, sample books, and other objects from the museum´s rich collection of Asiatica illustrate the encounter of three highly developed textile regions, each with entirely different artistic traditions. The exhibition “Cherry Blossom & Edelweiss. The Import of the Exotic” tells an exciting and momentous story of inspiration and misunderstandings and of myth and market which continues into the present.