A new gallery showcasing Asian culture and Leeds’ links with the continent is set to open its doors for the very first time.

From April 18 2014, the ‘Voices of Asia’ gallery will be open to the public at Leeds City Museum, celebrating the sights, sounds, diversity and culture of Asia and the different Asian communities in Leeds that make-up the thriving multi-cultural city today.

The new gallery, which sits on the ground floor of the museum in the World View Gallery, is the first major gallery refresh at the museum since it opened in 2008 and replaces the previous ‘Out of Africa’ gallery which showcased the city’s African collections. The title ‘Voices of Asia’ was deliberately chosen to represent the many Asian communities that live within the city, the different languages spoken in the continent, and the passion for contemporary film that will be incorporated in the new displays.

The displays, which have been planned in partnership with local Asian community groups as part of an Advisory Network, will stay in the space for around five years, but will change annually to reflect different projects, themes and world faiths.

Painstakingly researched and developed by the curatorial team with local organisations such as South Asian Arts UK, Leeds Hindu Mandir, Hamara, Jamyang Buddhist Centre, Leeds Asian Blind Association and Shantona at Leeds Museum and Galleries, the new gallery has been brought to life with great flair and imagination.

Visitors will be taken on a journey through seven themes, many of which will change over the five years that the gallery is set to last. These include; Faiths & Festivals; Trade & War; Fashion & Style; Music, Dance, Theatre & Film; Eating Out & Eating In and Faith in Focus. Fashion & Style will include a Gujarati tie-dye shawl, a Japanese Uchikake wedding robe, a Chinese dragon robe, and bridal wear from South Asia, while the first Faith in Focus will concentrate on Hinduism.

Full details of the exhibition can be found at www.leeds.gov.uk/VoicesOfAsia