In the three centuries after the explorer Vasco de Gama first landed in India in 1492, meetings, trade and exchanges of all kinds flourished between the peoples of Europe and Asia. These encounters and the hybrid cultures that developed have left an extraordinary legacy of exquisite works of art and compelling human stories.
Produced alongside the V&A's landmark 2004 exhibition, Encounters explores both the western fascination for the exotic materials of Asia as well as the interest in European technologies in India, China and Japan. The film considers the religious and diplomatic dimensions of the story, the immensely profitable trading networks and the fantasies imagined of faraway cultures by both Europeans and Asians.
The contributors to the film include the curators of Encounters Amin Jaffer and Anna Jackson, as well as author William Dalrymple and other leading experts.