Exhibition: Fabricating Power with Balinese Textiles

Exhibition dates: 23 February – 8 July 2018

 

 

Western scholars and artists converged on the tropical island of Bali, Indonesia, in the first half of the 20th century attracted by its unique culture and vibrant artistic practices. This exhibition considers the making and use of textiles as ceremonial objects that operate within a unique Balinese Hindu cosmology while exploring the role of textiles as symbols of cultural resilience and continuity.

On view will be exquisite and rare pieces assembled from collections in the United States, including examples from the American Museum of Natural History that were collected by anthropologists Margaret Mead and Gregory Bateson during their fieldwork in Bali. Deriving their aesthetic and ritual powers from techniques of fabrication and use in various lifecycle ceremonies, these textiles also serve as records of an important period in Balinese history.

Drawing on information from the 1930s and recent research, the exhibition presents an overview of Balinese textiles and encourages visitors to consider the value of these objects as they are made and used today.

For more information visit the website of the Bard Gallery, New York

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Textile Tidbits: Asian Textile Studies – Update

 

OATG members David and Sue Richardson have just uploaded a new section on Lau Wuti Kau – tubeskirts from the island of Sumba decorated with shells – to their website, Asian Textile Studies.

This is very comprehensive and covers the history and distribution of shell decoration throughout the area, how they were used, and of course the fascinating motifs created using shells. They hope you enjoy reading it here

Article: Chinese Village Keeps Alive a Tradition of Indigo Dyeing

“For a Dong family, having a loom is just as important as having a cow,” said Lai Lei, the founder of a weaving and dyeing co-op in a nearby village. “As children, we grow up listening to the sound of the loom.”

 

 

 

 

This article looks at the attempts to keep the tradition of indigo dyeing and polishing alive in Guizhou province, southern China. The cloth is dyed evry day for two weeks and then has an application of either cowhide extract or egg whites. The shine is achieved by hitting the cloth repeatedly with a wooden mallet. Deep indigo-stained hands are a badge of honour.

To read the full article please visit the website of  The New York Times

Exhibition: Vanishing Traditions – Textiles and Treasures from Southwest China

Exhibition dates 24 February – 9 July 2018

Over thousands of years, ethnic minority groups in China migrated to the country’s southwest fringes, with many settling in the mountainous province of Guizhou. As a result, the region has a remarkable diversity of languages and traditions, including exquisite textiles and metalwork. As Guizhou Province develops economically, these illustrious handicraft skills are fast disappearing.

Vanishing Traditions – Textiles and Treasures from Southwest China showcases stunning examples of textiles and jewellery worn by Miao, Dong, Shui, Yao, Bouyei, and other minority peoples, for community festivals. These pieces were selected from almost three hundred artworks recently donated to the Textile Museum by collector Bea Roberts.

For more information visit the website of  The Textile Museum, Washington

Exhibition: Artistry in Silk – The Kimono of Itchiku Kubota

Exhibition dates 7 February – 13 May 2018

Artistry in Silk celebrates the work of Itchiku Kubota (1917–2003), an innovative artist whose spectacular creations gave new meaning to the art of kimono. He brought new life to a 16th -century decorative technique known as tsujigahana, a combination of resist-dyeing techniques and ink-drawing that was once thought lost forever. In his subsequent production of sumptuously beautiful kimono that featured ‘Itchiku tsujigahana,’ the artist’s adaptation of this art form expanded contemporary ideas of surface design and assured Kubota a legacy as an out-of-the-ordinary artist and artisan whose work stimulated the mind and delighted the eye.

The exhibition presents 41 kimono designed and produced by the artist over three decades, from 1976 to his death in 2003.

There are some stunning high-resolution images on the museum website which load very slowly – your patience will be rewarded!

For more information visit the website of the Textile Museum of Canada, Toronto.

 

News: Textile Museum Journal Relaunched

After a hiatus of more than ten years, The George Washington University Museum and The Textile Museum are pleased to announce the relaunch of the Textile Museum Journal.

Established in 1962, the Textile Museum Journal is the leading publication for the exchange of textile scholarship in North America. The peer-reviewed journal promotes high-quality research on the cultural, technical, historical and aesthetic significance of textiles from Asian, African and indigenous American cultures. Last issued in 2004, the journal resumed annual publication last month, thanks to a Founding Patron gift from the Markarian Foundation, and is now available in an online format.

Table of Contents
Textile Museum Journal, Volume 44

Toward a Grammar of Textiles: A Reconsideration of Medieval Textile Aesthetics and the Impact of Modern Collecting
Arielle Winnik

Nomad Textile Bags from Central Asia in the 19th and 20th Centuries: Geographic Distribution, Decoration, Semantics
Irina Bogoslovskaya

Through the Renaissance Frame: Carpets and the Beginnings of ‘Islamic Art’ in Nineteenth-Century Vienna and Berlin
Denise-Marie Teece

Pope Innocent VIII’s Mamluk Carpets from Cairo in Context: Their Manufacture and Acquisition
Rosamond E. Mack

Rethinking Mamluk Carpet Origins
Gerald Pollio

For more information, visit the website of the Textile Museum, Washington DC.

Exhibition: Dressed to Impress – Netsuke and Japanese Men’s Fashion

Exhibition dates: 4 November 2017 – 22 April 2018

This exhibition at the Museum of East Asian Art (MEAA) in Bath, held in partnership with the British Museum, explores the intricate accessories worn by Japanese men during the Edo period (16151868). Netsuke are a form of miniature Japanese sculpture that were primarily functional, but that evolved into an important art form.

The exhibition features a selection of netsuke, chosen from over 2,300 in the British Museum’s collection, with more pieces added from MEAA’s collection to show the range and beauty of these objects and their excellent craftsmanship. Netsuke come in a variety of forms and materials such as wood, ivory and porcelain. The beauty of these objects is in their individuality, and is reflected in the variety of the netsuke on show: a goldfish, a Chinese boy holding a lion mask and a drum and fox’s mask (pictured above). Also on display will be a number of inro (cases for holding small objects), a sword and smoking accessories.

The exhibition places the netsuke and other objects in context with a sword and bespoke male kimono to demonstrate how they were worn as a complete outfit in the eighteenth century.

For more information, visit the website of the Museum of East Asian Art, Bath, UK.

Event: Katagami and Symbolism with Mamiko Markham

Event date: Tuesday 5 December 2017, 5–6pm

Researcher and practitioner Mamiko Markham presents a talk exploring the symbolism of the motifs used in katagami stencil design and the methods used to make them.

Katagami stencils are a Japanese technique for applying printed pattern to cloth, traditionally for kimonos. They are recognised as having had an important relationship with, and impact on, art and design across the globe.

Mamiko Markham was born in Kyoto, Japan, and grew up with katazome (Japanese method of dyeing fabrics using a resist paste applied through a stencil) from a young age. Her great grandfather was a katagami maker. She has a deep knowledge of the symbolism of the motifs used in katagami design and in the techniques used to make them. She has taught Japanese art and craft for over 25 years in Japan. and has worked extensively for UNESCO on guidance of art and craft education in Central Asia for fashion development using traditional folk textile weaving and dyeing.

Markham is currently working as a researcher and practitioner with Museum of Domestic Design and Architecture on their Katagami in Practice project Art School. Her research uses both ordinary and infrared photography to examine the katagami stencils in MoDA’s Silver Studio Collection to determine geographical origins, dates and makers (merchants).

This event is free; please book your place via Eventbrite.

Location: M&S Company Archive, Michael Marks Building, University of Leeds, LS2 9JT (sat nav LS2 9LP)

The event will be followed by the opportunity to visit ‘Katagami – The craft of the Japanese stencil’ exhibition at ULITA from 6pm–8pm. Refreshments will be served.

For more information, and to book a place at this event, visit the Eventbrite page.

For more about the related exhibition, visit the website of ULITA (University of Leeds International Textile Archive).

Event: Fit for the Future? The Kimono in Contemporary Japan

Event date: Thursday 23 November, 4–6pm

With few young Japanese people choosing to wear the kimono, and fewer still choosing to buy one of these expensive traditional garments, the shops and craftspeople who sell and make kimonos are facing troubled times. Third-generation kimono shop owner Yoshihide Shibakawa is coming to St Cross College, Oxford, next week to deliver a special talk on his vision of the future of the kimono and what it means to be a retailer in the traditional industries in twenty-first century Japan. There will also be a chance to try on real Japanese kimonos in the second half of the event.

For more information, please contact St Cross DPhil student Julie Valk.

Exhibition: How to Make the Universe Right – The Art of Priests and Shamans from Vietnam and Southern China

Exhibition dates: 30 July 2017 – 7 January 2018

‘How to Make the Universe Right’ presents a large selection of rare religious scrolls, ceremonial clothing and ritual objects of the Yao, Tày, Sán Dìu, Cao Lan, Sán Chay, Nùng and other populations of northern Vietnam and southern China. Each group has their own traditions of educating and initiating priests and shamans, who serve as intermediaries between the physical and spiritual worlds and between the community and deities, in order to make the universe right through healing, balancing the forces of nature, and communicating with ancestors. The Yao’s practices are most prominently associated with Daoism, a religious and philosophical tradition of Chinese origin, while for the other peoples, Daoist beliefs are combined with aspects of Buddhism, Tantrism and Confucianism.

The works of art in the exhibition, most of which date to the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, provide the material foundation for the regional manifestations of religious practices. Examples in the exhibition include vibrantly coloured and intricately embroidered ritual robes and headdresses worn by priests, and a spectacular set of eighteen scrolls of elaborately painted deities, made for those engaged in the higher levels of initiation. The exhibition also features a display evoking the shrines constructed for ceremonies, a film on contemporary religious practices in the region, and a selection of scrolls highlighting their recent conservation and what this has revealed.

All of the works on view are part of the Barry and Jill Kitnick Collection generously donated by the Kitnicks to the Fowler Museum at UCLA in 2015.

For more information, visit the website of the Fowler Museum, Los Angeles, USA.