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For the MAK’s 150th anniversary, designer Michael Embacher has given the Permanent Collection Carpets a new spatial concept that integrates an artistic intervention by Turkish artist Füsun Onur. This new presentation features the carpets of the MAK Collection as components of an intercultural dialog, as elements of exchange both within Asia and between Asia and Europe. Collection objects from the Ottoman and Safavid Empires are joined here by a selection of European pieces, and other objects from the arts-and-crafts sphere interrelate with the carpets from their respective regions of origin, serving to place them in a multilayered formal context and to underline their historical authenticity.

In February 2014 the MAK Permanent Collection Asia was opened with a design concept jointly developed with the Japanese artist Tadashi Kawamata. From the outset it was envisaged that Kawamata’s modular constructed room composition from 2014 would be redesigned after roughly two years. In line with a revised spatial concept by Kawamata, the position of the vitrine modules has been altered, and numerous objects from the MAK Asia Collection have been exchanged. Kawamata has “liberated” the artworks from their vitrines and opened up entirely new perspectives on the exhibits. The vitrines he designed, which reach all the way to the ceiling and are made of unpolished wood, have been rearranged to create a new experience of the space. Embedded in this new reinstallation, the curatorial view of the art and cultures of East Asia as well as the influence of Asian art on Europe also changed from 10 May 2016. The Asia Collection of the MAK is one of the important collections in Europe of art and applied arts from the Asian region. It has been compiled from public and private collections during a history lasting 150 years and offers a wide-ranging view of the art history of Asia.

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