Museo di Palazzo Palazzo Mocenigo

Mocenigo Palace




From 11 January to 29 February, 2024 *Exhibition extended to 03 March, 2024
Venice, Palazzo Mocenigo Museum

Curated by
Qian Zhaoyue, Director of the Suzhou Silk Museum
Liu Xu Dong, Consultant of the Suzhou Silk Museum
Chiara Squarcina, Head of the Museo di Palazzo Mocenigo
Massimo Andreoli, President Wavents srl
Laura Fincato, Honorary Citizen of Suzhou


The first appointment for the Celebrations of the 700th Anniversary of the death of Marco Polo (1324/2024) is at the Museo di Palazzo Mocenigo with The Axis of Time: Textiles for silk clothes from Suzhou (“L’Asse del Tempo: Tessuti per l’Abbigliamento in Seta di Suzhou”) from 11 January to 29 February 2024.

The project recalls and renews the historical bond between Venice and Suzhou. Officially twinned since 1980, the two cities stand on water at either end of the Silk Road. Above all, both have a strong connection with Marco Polo who, during his long journey to the East as Kublai Khan’s appointee, was captivated by Suzhou. In Il Milione he describes it as “a very noble city […] many silk cloths do they make, and they are rich merchants”.

It is precisely silk that is the protagonist at Palazzo Mocenigo with the exhibition in the portego of some twenty garments, original creations, textiles and faithful replicas of ancient garments from the Suzhou Silk Museum, a centre of primary importance for the research, preservation and protection of the millenary weaving technique that made the silk of the Jiangnan region famous. Creations such as the Song dynasty brocade, lampas, Kesi, silk tapestries, or the typical Suzhou embroidery known as pattern velvet, are here on display with precious specimens. All are today examples of China’s intangible cultural heritage.

The dialogue with the spaces of the Museum, the Centro Studi di Storia del Tessuto, del Costume e del Profumo (Study Centre for the History of Textiles, Costume and Perfume), which houses the textile and antique clothing collections of the Civic Museums, also provides a very special opportunity to compare the style of clothing under the Republic of China with that of the main ruling dynasties in the ancient Chinese empire, from an aesthetic and manufacturing point of view.

The exhibition is backed by the City of Venice, Fondazione Musei Civici di Venezia, Suzhou Silk Museum, Suzhou Municipal People’s Government Foreign Affairs Office, Suzhou Municipal Office for Culture, Radio, Television and Tourism, Suzhou Radio and Television Media Group, Confucius Institute at Ca’ Foscari University in Venice.