This work is de Waal's most ambitious piece to date and comprises a high wooden case containing shelves stacked with porcelain plates and dishes of various sizes which can be viewed through vertical and horizontal slits in the case.

This work calls in to question the cultures of collecting and in particular the tradition of porcelain rooms. In the 18th century, there was a race to discover the alchemy of porcelain, whose secrets were only known to the ceramicists of China and the Far East. The social elite of Europe competed to show their wealth and connoisseurship by assembling their porcelain collections where every surface was covered with examples of this ceramic treasure.


The artist through the New Art Centre.

mima, Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art

Centre Square, Middlesbrough, Cleveland, TS1 2AZ
01642 726720

Opening times

Tue – Sat, 10am – 4.30pm (Thu until 7pm)
Sun, 12 – 4pm

Closed Bank Holidays

Exhibitions at mima, Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art

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