The Groninger Museum's collection of oriental ceramics belongs to the most important Dutch collection in this domain. The French designer Philippe Starck designed the pavilion bearing the same name especially for the display of this renowned collection. Ceramics from Ming to Memphis is a follow-on to the Bont en Blauw (Bright Blue) exhibition.
In this exhibition, antique cabinet porcelain, tea and coffee services and other tableware from the Far East is compared and contrasted with post-modern ceramics from the end of the twentieth century, created by designers such as Andrea Branzi, Alessandro Mendini, and Ettore Sottsass Jr from the Italian design studio Memphis. Although, at first sight, the exhibition appears to cover two entirely different worlds, it demonstrates just how closely related they actually are. Even ancient China experienced the (alleged) extremes in design and decoration, in much the same way as we ascribe such qualities to the Memphis items. An unorthodox presentation of post-modern and traditional oriental ceramics ensures unexpected combinations that will not only challenge and stimulate visitors but also surprise them.