Exhibition dates: 4 August – May 2017
Opening today, this exhibition at the Queen Sirikit Museum of Textiles, in Bangkok, Thailand, celebrates the auspicious occasion of Her Majesty Queen Sirikit’s 7th cycle birthday anniversary on 12 August 2016. It describes the origins of Khon and its historical presentation. It then highlights the modern Khon costumes created for the revival of this important art form by Queen Sirikit. The galleries display old and new Khon costumes, masks and jewellery.
In 2005, when Her Majesty Queen Sirikit set about organising the revival of Khon, one of Thailand’s oldest narrative dance forms, she assembled a scholarly research team to discover what the costumes might have looked like in the past. After the historical evidence had been collected, specialists were selected to design new costumes to fit contemporary adults. This degree of authenticity required the re-establishment or expansion of the weaving, embroidery, mask- and jewellery-making workshops necessary to produce all aspects of Khon costuming.
For more information, visit the website of the Queen Sirikit Museum of Textiles, Bangkok, Thailand.
Exhibition dates: open until 9 October 2016
Drawn entirely from The Met’s collection, this exhibition in New York examines these luxury textiles from artistic and technical points of view. It is organized in two rotations. The first focuses on costumes used in dramas based on historical events, and the second will feature costumes from plays derived from legends and myths. The presentation showcases eight robes, each of which was created for a specific role – court lady, official, general, monk, nun and immortal. A set of album leaves faithfully depicting theatrical characters wearing such robes is also displayed.
The eighteenth and nineteenth centuries witnessed a flowering of Chinese drama. Under the patronage of the Qing court (1644–1911), performances – including the ‘Peking Opera’ – filled the Forbidden City in Beijing. A form of traditional Chinese theatre, Peking Opera was developed fully by the mid-nineteenth century, and because of the form’s minimal stage settings and the importance of exaggerated gestures and movements, costume played an unusually significant role.
This exhibition includes superb examples with interior markings indicating their use in court productions.
For more information, visit the website of the Metropolitan Museum, New York, USA.