Museum of Far Eastern Antiquities – Paper Stories Exhibition

Διαβάστε αυτό το ποστ στα ελληνικά.

One of the most interesting museums we visited in Stockholm was the Museum of Far Eastern Antiquities (Östasiatiska Museet). It’s not very big and probably not one of the priorities for someone visiting Stockholm for the first time. However, it was particularly interesting not only because of its theme, but also because of the exhibition it currently hosts, which is about paper. I couldn’t miss that!

The museum’s entrance

The Museum is located on the island of Skeppsholmen, housed in an old military building built by the Navy in 1663 (Tyghuset). There are other museums located on the island, such as the Modern Art Museum and the Architecture Museum, so the visitor can check these out while there. It’s also a very picturesque little island to walk around. The building of the Museum of Far Eastern Antiquities is rectangular and elongated, with low ceilings – the Museum houses collections from China, Japan, Korea, and India. The Chinese collection it the most extensive one, while there is also an area dedicated to books with bookshelves and archives spanning whole walls. The Museum also houses a library.

Paper has a special place in these collection, since the invention of the material and its widespread use started in China. As visitors coming from Athens, we don’t get to see such artifacts very easily, so a visit to this Museum was a must.


We really admired the room housing the Korean collection. This was curated with the support of the country’s Embassy and its design is made to resemble a traditional Korean household. Apart from the incredibly interesting objects, the room itself is part of the collection and not just a shell to house them.


The Paper Stories exhibition was the main reason I wanted to visit the Museum. A fairly small exhibition dedicated to paper, it contains paper samples that visitors can touch, a video presenting the process of making paper from a factory in China, artifacts from antiquity up to modern times that show the importance of this material in Asian societies, from packaging, cards and games, decorative items, works of art, papers for all sorts of uses. Finally, there is a discussion for the future of paper and how it will be used by future generations, given the prevalent environmental concerns. In the photos below you can see a small part of the various beautiful decorative papers presented in the exhibition. When I reached this point and saw the wall with all the papers lighted from behind, I gasped! I really love these kinds of designs and the exhibition is full of lovely patterns and colors.



As part of the exhibition, the Museum also presents the work of contemporary artists using paper as their medium. These change every once in a while. When we visited we were able to see the impressive work of fashion designer Bea Szenfeld, whose works strongly reminded me of origami.




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More posts from my trip to Sweden:

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