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A Millennium of Contact

Chinese and Southeast Asian ceramics found in the Philippines tell the story of how the country forged social and commercial ties with China and its neighbors. This display of more than 500 ceramics provides one of the most comprehensive surveys of Chinese and Southeast Asian trade wares found in the Philippines, spanning a thousand years.

These trade ceramics are not only a feast for the eyes, but their origins and the periods in which they were produced also provide important data about the past. As proof of the lively trade that occurred between China and Southeast Asia, these pieces continue to play an important role in the understanding of Philippine history.

Exhibition curator: Rita Tan
Made possible through the support of the Roberto T. Villanueva Foundation

Ceramics Study Center

Selected ceramic objects and a specialized library of books from the collection of John Forbes are available for study to researchers, educators, and students at the Ceramics Study Center. We recommend booking an appointment with us prior your visit. Please contact Tenten Mina at (632) 759 8288 local 17 or email

Image details: BLUE AND WHITE TWIN BIRD WATER DROPPER. Ca. 14th to 15th century. Ming Dynasty. Roberto T. Villanueva Collection.

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