Month: June 2018

49. Chinese transportation tokens and tickets

A recent enquiry has drawn my attention to the world of Chinese transportation tokens. There are a few Chinese transportation tokens in the British Museum – they are a random assortment of plastic and metal pieces- and there are some paper transportation tickets as well – also a random assortment. All of these are on the BM database (unfortunately, Collection Online hasn’t been updated since last summer, although data entry, edits and imaging continues behind the scenes). (more…)

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48. Red envelopes – the development and permanence of themes in Chinese popular imagery

A few blogs back – no. 45 “Cultural Revolution Style Red Packets” – Lyce Jankowski left a comment, drawing my attention to Chengan SUN’s work on red envelopes: a PhD and a book, titled Les enveloppes rouges: évolution et permanence des themes d’une image populaire chinoise  (Le Moulin de l’Etoile, 2011.  ISBN 978-2-915428-37-7). A copy of this book has just arrived at the Dept of Coins and Medals, British Museum, and I’ll outline the contents below. (more…)

47. Chinese Money Matters – so why does it have such a low profile?

This was the title of the short presentation I gave at the Art, Materiality and Representation conference that took place in London, 1-3 June, organised by the Royal Anthropological Institute (RAI), the BM’s Department for Africa, Oceania and the Americas, and the Dept of Anthropology at SOAS. My paper was one of 17 papers in the one-day session “Museums of Asian Arts outside Asia: Questioning Artefacts, Cultures and Identities” (see the list of speakers and titles at the end of this post). The day was superbly conceived, organised and presented by Iside Carbone of the RAI. (more…)