chinoiseries: passion for asia in europe

Since the Antiquity, Europeans showed great interest in any goods that came from the Far East. Such interest became a real passion in the 17th to the 18th century, giving birth to an aesthetic style dubbed Chinoiserie. Because of the long journey that goods like silk, porcelain and lacquerwork took to Europe, they were generally very rare and expensive. Owning a blue and white Chinese vase was a sign of prestige and wealth. Only rich bourgeois and nobility could buy them. European goldsmiths adorned Chinese porcelain with elaborate gold pieces and Dutch painters loved to represent Chinese vases in their nature-morte paintings.

European artists and craftsmen were enchanted by patterns of Chinese landscapes, birds, flowers and people, so that  castles and palaces had their own “Chinese room” with wallpaper depicting landscapes of China to adequately frame lavish collections of porcelain and lacquer furniture

Discover the Chinoiserie style as an great example of how art and techniques from different cultures can merge and mix, and enjoy a nice selection of images from Europeana in the blog authored by Julien Ménabréaz in Europeana website >>

image: Tea service and stand, c. 1725-1732, PD Rijksmuseum via Europeana

PAGODE – Europeana China is co-financed by the Connecting Europe Facility Programme of the European Union, under GA n. INEA/CEF/ICT/A2019/1931839

pagode – europeana china storytelling challenge

PAGODE – Europeana China is making an impact on education, being included in a students project for the Master in Cultural Studies at KU Leuven. The organizing students of this “PAGODE group” are Gelan Cen, Lilia Chalakova, Shau Zou Fong, Jing Yun and Emily Jayne Benson-Kallman.

The project includes two elements, a video competition and an annotation sprint of digital collections. Both tasks are based on PAGODE’s crowdsourcing campaign launched in Autumn 2020, where a wealth of images about Chinese Heritage cultural collections, sourced from Europeana and carefully selected by PAGODE’s curator Sofie Taes, is available for users to play with.

In the video competition, participant students are expected to select one, several or a series of pictures from the Scenes and People from China campaign in the PAGODE crowdsourcing page and explain the reasons for their choices by recording a nice video to be shared on social media. The videos will be evaluated by an independent jury basing on a detailed evaluation system, to award the nicest one.

In the annotation sprint, participant students will be challenged to join the effort of annotating and curating photographic materials about Chinese culture that are currently published in Europeana, by looking at the images and adding descriptive tags selected from controlled vocabularies. Each addition counts points to the user, who is ranked in a lively classification of top-scoring. The student who will have reached the higher score will be awarded as the winner. The annotation sprint will be open until 22nd of May and the overall target is to reach 24.000 annotations. Afterwards, the annotations will be reviewed and validated by PAGODE experts and then sent to Europeana for publication.

The organizing students of the “PAGODE group” say “We are expecting to hear different voices from Chinese culture lovers by offering a unique opportunity for you to have an inner conversation with yourself. Every participant, in this case, can be recognized as a citizen historian who makes substantial contributions to safeguarding the memory of their past and paving a promising path for the future of their ethnicity. We hope, by holding an interactive and engaging event based on social media, we will be able to send the message that it is interesting and fashionable to talk about cultural heritage. Every piece of cultural heritage is a vivid and faithful reflection of daily life in the past. Therefore, people should be handed the power to share what they think about a particular cultural heritage and why they feel related to it.”

img. The solitary stillness of the mountains and ravines, c. 1980, CC-BY Qian Songyan, Östasiatiska museet via Europeana

PAGODE – Europeana China is co-financed by the Connecting Europe Facility Programme of the European Union, under GA n. INEA/CEF/ICT/A2019/1931839

pagode festival: the china collection of the finnish missionary organization (FELM)

PAGODE Digital Festival is proud to present an online talk and presentation to discover the collections of the Finnish Missionary Organization at Finnish Heritage Agency.

Presented by Ismo Malinen. (PDF, 7 Mb)

Ismo is Chief intendant of the Picture Collections at the Finnish Heritage Agency (since 2012). Studies in History, Archaeology and Museology, University of Helsinki (MA). Museum professional since 1999 and long experience in many fields: museum collections, collection management, exhibitions and since 2009 developing and coordinating the digitization of collections. Member of Photoconsortium and Vice Chair of the Finna Consortium. Finna is the national platform for millions of items of cultural and scientific material in Finland.  

Co-organized with Paula Laajalahti, expert working for a long time at FELM Finnish Evangelical Lutheran Mission.

Date and time: Tuesday 25th May 2021 h. 14:30 – 15:30 CEST

image Museovirasto – Finnish Heritage Agency CC-BY-SA 4.0


PAGODE – Europeana China is co-financed by the Connecting Europe Facility Programme of the European Union, under GA n. INEA/CEF/ICT/A2019/1931839

europeana china feature page

PHOTOCONSORTIUM, International Consortium for Photographic Heritage, and EUROPEANA, the European Commission’s digital platform for cultural heritage are proud to present a prime accomplishment of PAGODE – Europeana China. This project, aimed at creating a dedicated thematic space that highlights and celebrates Chinese heritage in Europe, officially launches a feature page on April 4th, showcasing a variety of Chinese and China-related cultural heritage items and resources from European cultural institutions such as museums, libraries and photographic archives.

“International exchanges have been and are still at the basis of the evolution of our society. In particular, this is true in the relationships between Europe and China. While goods are moving and determining the economic values of these exchanges, people move with their ideas and cultures. Mutual understanding and acknowledging the value of the variety of cultural heritage in the world is key to support the creation of healthy spaces for business development.” says dr. Mauro Fazio, Italian Ministry of Economic Development, the PAGODE project coordinator. “Digitisation, curation and access to digital treasures of Chinese heritage held in European institutions, as the main objectives of this project, are expected to contribute to the process of digital transformation in the light of a more inclusive, equal and global growth.”

Jolan Wuyts, Collections Editor at Europeana: “In Europeana we have the opportunity to highlight collections that can be otherwise underrepresented, showcasing Chinese Heritage in European collections is one of those opportunities. The PAGODE project enables users to dive into Chinese heritage collections while at the same time being guided by important context and curation from PAGODE project partners. Collecting these editorials in a single feature page allows Europeana to give a platform to PAGODE’s curation efforts and other editorial on Chinese heritage in one place.”


Themed galleries, blog posts and curated  digital content will guide visitors through  this online treasure trove. Image by image, story by story, visitors can  immerse themselves in the rich narratives of two worlds that have been meeting and mixing for centuries. The feature page will offer ample opportunity for discovering the stories of Empress Cixi, of the mandarin duck, of the Chinese junk, and exploring thousands of curiosities and stunning images of Chinese heritage in Europe. To be added to the page in  September 2021 is a virtual exhibition of Chinese heritage and art in Europe.


img. Peasant Paintings from Huhsien Country, Peking 1976, 55. CC-BY Bai Tianxue, Östasiatiska museet via Europeana

PAGODE – Europeana China is co-financed by the Connecting Europe Facility Programme of the European Union, under GA n. INEA/CEF/ICT/A2019/1931839

pagode joins the uncharted community

PAGODE recently joined the community of UNCHARTED associate members.

UNCHARTED is a four years project which aims to identify, contextualize, understand, measure and analyse the emergence and conformation of the values of culture from an interdisciplinary, collaborative and pluralistic perspective. Being PAGODE dedicated to highlighting the connections between European and Chinese culture, it offers an unique point of view for reflections on the representation of different cultures and their blending with the European ones.

In terms of research, UNCHARTED will engage the community of members and associate members to investigate the plurality of values of culture in different domains. Members of the community can contribute in the research with their experiences and expertise, responding to surveys and questionnaires, attending conferences, workshops and local encounters. Policy briefs, guidelines and other research outcomes will derive from UNCHARTED, also including a special book.

UNCHARTED website:

image courtesy of the UNCHARTED project.

PAGODE – Europeana China is co-financed by the Connecting Europe Facility Programme of the European Union, under GA n. INEA/CEF/ICT/A2019/1931839