Burghley and the Far East

Telephone01780 752451


    This summer take a journey to the East featuring ancient and rare treasures with the chance to take part in a series of hands-on and inspirational workshops.

    Alongside the season-long Treasury ExhibitionTreasures from the East, visitors to Burghley this summer can enjoy a range of workshops inspired by the exhibition which explore traditional Far Eastern arts and crafts.

    Among events are the chance to try out the Japanese art of Kintsugi, discover the 1,000-year-old practice of Sumi-e Japanese Ink Painting (both 14 August), or take part in a Japanese Tea Ceremony Workshop (11 September) or Ikebana Workshop (12 September). For children, there will also be Chinese Dragon Dance Workshops on 2 August.

    Celebrating the Japanese philosophy of the beauty of imperfection and the impermanence of things, Kintsugi is an ancient art form that involves fixing broken pottery, with the breakages and repair treated as part of the history of an object.

    Sumi-e Japanese Ink Painting using simple black ink on rice paper is both a form of expression and a way of setting the mind and was introduced into Japan by Zen monks. The Japanese term ‘sumi’ means black ink and ‘e’ means painting, and this mindful way of painting encourages the artist to paint from nature, embracing any mistakes and incorporating that into the work.

    For the Japanese Tea Workshop, host and tea ceremony master Keiko Uchida will reveal more about the history of green tea and the philosophy and cultural background of this ancient ritual used to enhance the mind, to produce calm, peace and wellbeing as well as boost energy.

    The workshop will also include a demonstration on how to prepare and serve a cup of matcha tea with a Japanese sweet treat, using traditional gestures and manners, and the opportunity to put this all into practice by taking on the role of host and guest using traditional equipment.

    A house 500 years in the making Burghley was built by William Cecil, Queen Elizabeth I’s most trusted minister, who took great interest in the expansion of foreign trade, particularly with the treasure-laden lands of the Far East.

    These links with the ancient world are marked in this year’s Treasury Exhibition, which features items from the House’s Collection, many of which are not normally on public display.

    Included is Lord Burghley’s great atlas of 1570, which illustrates the long sea voyages undertaken by early sailors and the rich sea trade that it created, initially in spices, but then covering exotic luxury goods, such as porcelains, semi-precious stones and lacquerwork, which were previously unknown in Europe and were to become a significant influence on Western culture.

    Many such items were collected by William Cecil’s descendants during the centuries that followed and brought to Burghley House and visitors can view a selection of these historic items on display in the exhibition.

    Burghley’s Treasury Exhibition is included in the normal House, Gardens and Play Admission Ticket. Tickets for the workshops are available to book online, and cost from £55-£65 per person and £15 per child for the children’s workshop.

    Opening Times

    Date From: 31/05/2024

    Date To: 14/09/2024

    Contact Details

    Tel (1): 01780 752451

    Email: [email protected]

    Website: https://burghley.co.uk/news/journey-to-the-far-east

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