The miniature art forms in this exhibition express the delight of the Chinese and the Japanese in small things and their aptitude for exquisite workmanship on a miniature scale. Both China and Japan boast a great range of artistic achievements in miniature. Since early times, Chinese and Japanese miniature art has been characterized by exceptional delicacy, preciseness and exquisiteness.
Despite the limitations of the material and the restricted compact space and shape for the designs, the makers of these miniature art pieces have shown extraordinary patience, unique sensitivity, exquisite workmanship, elegance of form and ingenuity in the variety of materials used. They have succeeded in beautifying mundane functional or utilitarian items into objects of great beauty and sophistication. In their miniature treasures, the Chinese and Japanese show their love of nature, of symbolism and of tradition. As a whole, miniature arts in China and Japan stand the test of magnification with much success.
There are more than 500 wonderful miniature examples in the exhibition which date from the 18th to 20th century and include Chinese snuff bottles, opium boxes and pith paintings as well as Japanese sword guards, netsuke toggles and okimono sculptures.