The First Monday in May


Throughout the majority of the first half of the film “The First Monday in May” the viewers get an inside look into the steps and processes used to create the Met exhibition “China Through the Looking Glass.” The key component imperative to a flawless show was the countless research that determined every part of the show. Some of the ways in which research was conducted included interviews, team meetings, film review, and more. Some of the aspects that were researched included making sure Chinese culture was not being appropriated, determining if the political standing of China allowed for certain commentary through the art pieces.An effort was also made to figure out where designers get their inspiration from so that the design pieces would compliment the ancient Asian art.  

I think the research was effective because it covered all the bases. What I mean by that is that they made sure to make sure that the exhibit would not offend the majority especially the Chinese. By bringing in Chinese culture specialists as well as Chinese art specialists associated with the metropolitan museum of art it made sure that every possible question and concern was addressed and understood so that the team could move forward. Another imperative force in the planning was Anna Wintour and Andrew Bolton both made sure everything was executed to perfection with no stone left unturned to make sure everything went off without a hitch.


-Want to show how western culture looks to China for inspiration

-Andrew Bolton interviewed John Galliano who constantly draws reference and inspiration from China. He created a fantasizes version of China weaves personal and seemingly bizarre narratives into his design work

-vogue/met meeting months in advance

-movie in the mood for love inspiration

“Because seeing too much is seeing nothing” director


2)”China Through the Looking Glass” was a collaborative effort between The Costume Institute and The Department of Asian Art with a purpose of exploring the influences Chinese aesthetics have had on Western design. I believe the curators did an excellent job of avoiding appropriating Chinese culture. The careful planning that went into combining high fashion with Chinese costumes, paintings, porcelains, and other art forms like film created a show that seemed well versed in Chinese culture and influence. The incorporation of all these art forms gave an in-depth feel of understanding and respect as presented by the curators.



-Why is Chinese art such a common influence on so many western designers?

-How is the Met Gala pulled off every year? What goes into it?

-How does art reflect culture?

-How does art and culture affect and or influence designers?

-How does ancient art able to convey a sense of timelessness?

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