Photographic Qing Dynasty Exhibition - China Chinese Art museum lighting design must embrace aesthetics, function flexibility, conservation & energy efficiency find out more about our designsThat is wonderful - I am all the more grateful for your support after your wonderful efforts to make the exhibition so successfulfind out more about our designs

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Exhibition Design + Lighting Design - William Saunders Photographic Exhibition

Following the enormous success of the Thomas Child’s Photographic Exhibition at the China Exchange 12 months earlier.


The New York based collector & exhibition curator had the vision to produce a new exhibition based on the works of William Saunders.

A British born photographer working in Shanghai, William Saunders produced mainly portraits but also local events and scenery around the 1870’s. The exhibition displayed 33 images of which 27 had been hand coloured producing incredible fine detailed photographic images.

With the importance of these rare photographic images of every day Chinese life, Asian Art in London held their official opening at the China Exchange.  Asian Art in London brings together the world’s top dealers, major auction houses and museums for an event of the finest Asian art.  So this provided the perfect opportunity for VIP guests from the art world to view these important historical photographic images.   

Once again we were asked to design both the exhibition and lighting on this prestigious photographic exhibition project. However this time the exhibition curator wanted to add a 3 dimensional element to the display. This display element would create something special to assist visitors to better understand the environment in which these images would have been created, using the Collodion wet plate cameras of the time.

The exhibition curator had the idea to recreate a Victorian photographic studio similar in type to those being used by photographers around that period. However at the suggestion of Simon Morris (exhibition designer), it was decided not to produce an exact period replica of a photographic studio but something more of an art installation. By adopting this design approach it would improve continuity and cohesiveness with the rest of the photographic exhibition layout.
Various locations within the exhibition space were tested along with varying designs for the studio till the final version seen in these images was agreed.

China Exchange equipped with only ambient uplighters and the lack of any track or directional lighting is not ideal for art installations or exhibitions. So a temporary 12 volt tensioned wired lighting system was installed using 3000K, LED lamps and fittings. Various light filters were added to the lamps to change beam angle and intensity, whilst light levels (Lux) were measured an adjusted to agreed tolerances.

The photographic studio & exhibition were a great success with a large increase in visitor numbers from the previous year’s exhibition.

We were delighted to read the many compliments scribbled in the visitor’s book by both the general public guests and scholars alike.

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