From Tuesday 29th March 2011, until 17th August 2011, the TRC Gallery shows a new exhibition, which highlights an iconic form of dress from 20th century China. This is the cheongsam, a dress form for women that developed in China in the 1920s. It was first popular in Shanghai, where it was fashionable for elite women and then spread throughout China and other parts of the world thanks to the Chinese diaspora. Its peak of popularitywas reached in the 1950s and 1960s. During the 1970s the wearing of the cheongsam was more or less banned in China and replaced by the ubiquitous, blue Mao suit (a genuine example of this suit is also on display). The cheongsam recently made a revival, both in China and the West, due to the changing economic situation of China over the last decades. The exhibition includes over forty women and girls' dresses on mannequins, as well as individual garments. The exhibition is accompanied by posters and photographs showing how the dresses were worn in daily life and on special occasions, such as weddings. The garments on show span a period of over one hundred years. There are even examples of the latest cheongsam fashion from Singapore, especially acquired for the exhibition in March of this year.
The TRC is well-known for its display of Middle Eastern clothing, and therefore the Cheongsam exhibition is both a challenge for the organisers and an eye-opener for many regular TRC visitors.
The exhibition will be on display up until and including Wednesday 17th August. Entrance is free, and every Wednesday, from 14.00 hours onwards, there will be a guided tour (fees: 7.50 euros).
This exhibition is being staged with the very active support of Pepin Press, Amsterdam, and members of the Leiden Chinese community.