Orientations is a bimonthly print magazine published in Hong Kong and distributed worldwide since 1969. It is an authoritative source of information on the many and varied aspects of the arts of East and Southeast Asia, the Himalayas, the Indian subcontinent and the Middle East, from the latest scholarly research to market analysis and current news.
We continue to dedicate one issue per year to highlight Asian art in a specific region of the world. Following last year’s issue on Eastern Europe, we turn south to focus on Iberia. Spain and Portugal’s maritime expeditions in the late 15th and 16th centuries were first through a Western route by the Spanish, which rounded the southern coast of South America and crossed the Pacific Ocean, and subsequently through an Eastern route by the Portuguese that rounded the Cape of Good Hope to India and further onwards to East and Southeast Asia. These explorations brought new cultural encounters that resulted in a confluence of ideas evident not only in artworks but also in architecture, such as the use of Chinese porcelains in embrechados.
We were overwhelmed by the enthusiasm shown from our sponsors, which included museums, private foundations, and governmental organizations such as the Casa-Museu Medeiros e Almeida, Fundaçã Oriente, Museu Calouste Gulbenkian, Museu de São Roque, Fundação Carmona e Costa, and the Tourism Board of Madeira, with support as well from Casa São Roque, Centro Científico e Cultural de Macau, and Museu de Caramulo. This allowed us to present an expanded issue with more articles that we hope will become a definitive guide to Asian art in Iberia, sparking further interest and inspiring our readers to visit these rich collections.