Arts of Asia - August 2017

Arts of Asia Magazine

August 2017
Barbara Harding


This summer’s two main themes, “cross-collecting” and the need for a narrative, are precisely those initiatives pioneered by Oliver Hoare. His 2015 show, Every Object Tells a Story, created a sensation in the London art world and, two years later, he did it again. His 2017 exhibition retained the same title but was presented in South Kensington, at 5 Cromwell Place, running from 4th May to 5th July.

When it comes to breaking down cultural barriers no one can compete with Oliver Hoare. Here, cheek by jowl, were Man Ray’s famous lips lithograph, a bronze Siberian tattooed man more than 2000 years old, a haunting Lele dance maks from the Congo, and ammonite fossil at least 250 million years old, a magnificent Safavid Qur’an, and much, much more… The show was augmented by an inspired programme of lectures, musical evenings and events for young people. I found that several visits were required, with periods of reflection between. Once again, Oliver Hoare’s erudite catalogue, laced with wit and wisdom, is something to be treasured.

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