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Permanent Exhibition

Boldness of Forms and Colors: Asian Textiles in the National Palace Museum Collection
Boldness of Forms and Colors: Asian Textiles in the National Palace Museum Collection
Extension:Permanent Exhibition
Showroom: S304
Exhibition Description

 

Exhibition Description
  • Introduction

    Permanent Exhibition / S304

    The large territory of Asia with its various geographic structures inhabited by many diverse ethnic groups and a wide variety of cultures touch upon crucial factors which, over time, affected the diversity of Asian textile culture. The Yangtze River and the Yellow River basins, for example, were the cradles of sericulture and the silk culture itself. The tropical areas of Southeast Asia have been home to many types of sarong. In South Asia, a colorful display of richly embellished sari has been the traditional clothing for women living on the Indian Peninsula. Ikat of intricate patterns and bold colors has long been a favorite with the herdsmen living on the vast steppes of Central Asia. Byzantine and Islamic influences can be found in clothing typical for Turkey, Syria and other areas on the boundaries between Europe and Asia.

    The National Palace Museum has a great collection of masterpieces of ke-si and embroidery from Qing dynasty. The textiles collection has recently been enlarged by purchase of Asian textile exhibits for the purpose of opening a museum for Asian Art and Culture in southern Taiwan, the Southern Branch of National Palace Museum. In order to share the wondrous variety of Asian textiles with the great audience of the Southern Branch at its opening, in addition to its own exhibits, the Museum will for a limited time display the Shenyang Palace Museum’s collection of silk textiles. The exhibition is divided into 5 sections: Homeland of Silk, Grace of Sarong, Myriad of Colors, Colors of the Steppes and Crossroads of East and West, representing traditional textile handcrafts characteristic for the regions East Asia, Southeast Asia, South Asia, Central Asia and West Asia respectively. The last section, Types of Handcraft and Decoration Techniques, is meant to acknowledge the viewers with traditional Asian handcrafts and their artistry.

  • Carpet with swastika lattice, bat and foliated dragon pattern

  • Carpet with swastika lattice, bat and foliated dragon pattern

    Qing dynasty
    18th century
    Cotton, Length 287cm, width 163cm

    The design of this carpet is composed of a swastika lattice in blue colour, overlaid with columns of bats. A four petals medallion window overlaid with a single large blue foliated dragon in the middle of the field. At each of the four corner of the carpet is bounded by cloud scrolls containing a single foliated dragon. The primary border has a swastika trellis design and the inner border is composed of a section from an octagon and square lattice with rosettes. The outer frame is in grey-brown. With its fabulous proportions and beautifully balanced design, this carpet is one of the outstanding masterpieces of Ningxia carpet design.

 
  • Part 1

    East Asia- Homeland of Silk

  • Good Fortune, Wealth, and Long Life- Three Deities, Imperially Commissioned and Inscribed ke-si scroll

  • Good Fortune, Wealth, and Long Life- Three Deities, Imperially Commissioned and Inscribed ke-si scroll

    Qianlong era of Qing dynasty (1711-1796)
    Silk
    Length 155cm, width 85.5cm
    A ke-si scroll with a painting of three immortals, representing happiness, prosperity and longevity, known as the Three Star Gods. The 3 immortals sitting in a garden hold auspicious symbols: ruyi (talisman), lingzhi mushrooms, and canistel fruits.They are accompanied by 5 children immortals, who hold a vase of peonies, ruyi and weapons. The black characters on the top of the painting form a poem commissioned by Qianlong Emperor of Qing dynasty, praising the Three Star Gods. The painting is mounted with the auspicious cloud pattern. The top and bottom edges of the scroll are embellished in red ke-si cloud pattern, and filled with the Eight Auspicious Symbols of Buddhism - - the golden wheel, the mystical knot, the white umbrella, the banner of victory, the conch shell, the treasure vase, the lotus and the double golden fish.




  • Yuzen dyed kimono with flower and bird motifs

  • Yuzen dyed kimono with flower and bird motifs

    Japan
    Early 20th century
    Silk
    Length 122cm, width 147cm
    Early 20th century kimono. The outer layer is made of violet damask, the inner of red silk. The kimono was embellished using the exquisite Yuzen dying technique. The embellishment of bouquets on the shoulder is a Japanese knot for “good fortune,” called kusudama, an amulet used for the Double Fifth festival. The bottom part is decorated with peonies and pheasant patterns. The design of this kimono is filled with rich and auspicious details.

    The Yuzen dying technique was invented in Kyoto in the middle of Edo era (around 1700) by Miyazaki Yuzen. He successfully translated the art of painting fans into a fabric dying handcraft. The detailed patterns in precise lines and in vibrant colors are represented on the textiles. With its characteristic features, Yuzen is considered a favorite traditional dying technique in Japan.

 
  • Part 2

    Southeast Asia- Grace of Sarong

  • Warp ikat Costume of Sawu, Indonesia

    Warp ikat Costume of Sawu, Indonesia

  • Warp ikat Costume of Sawu, Indonesia

    Ikat is a traditional weaving technique in the Indonesian archipelago. Savu (Sawa) Island is located in Eastern Indonesia, and is in the midway between Sumba and Rote Islands, west of Timor. The traditional costume of the Savu islanders always use the warp ikat fabric: women wear ikat skirts (sarong) while men wrap a ikat cloth (hinggi) around their waist.


  • Southeast Asia- Grace of Sarong

  • Double ikat sari

  • Double ikat sari

    India
    20th century
    Silk
    Length 496cm, width 117cm

    This double ikat silk sari originates from Nalgonda in central India. Its design consists of 2 parts. The top, bottom and mounting of the fabric are of the color green, and are richly patterned with elephants, bouquets, birds and cattlewomen. The middle part is a purple ground with latticework shaped by lozenges, geometric patterns, flowers and birds. The warp ikat technique accounts for the embellishments, while the middle section evidences the weft ikat technique.


  • Embroidered cover

  • Embroidered cover

    India
    Early 20th century
    Cotton
    Length 118cm, width 230cm

    The women of Bengal are incredibly skilled in embroidery as they use every bit of their spare time to practice. They use colorful threads and plain stitches to pass through several layers of cotton fabric and produce daily life items, including bed covers, hangings, head clothes, saris and baby carriers. Their unique handcraft is locally called kanthas.

    Despite its symmetry, every detail of the design is unique. The mount consists of interchanging black and red dots, with one flower in each corner. The main motif includes 4 trees of life with a pair of horses, elephants, cattle and dogs underneath each of them, and birds in their canopies. The trees of life are encircled with boats, castles and buildings, and a collection of animals that include peacocks, fish, crocodiles and turtles. There are 3 round flowers in the middle of the fabric. The simplicity of colors, diversity of forms and the richness of patterns look loaded, but not messy.

 
  • Part 4

    Central Asia- Prairie color

  • Floral patterned green suzani hanging

  • Floral patterned green suzani hanging

    Uzbekistan
    19th century
    Silk, cotton
    Length 126cm, width 160cm

     

 
  • Part 5

    West Asia- Crossroads of East and West

  • Red velvet embroidered jacket

  • Brocade coat

    Ottoman Turkish women’s costume
    19th century

    This 19th Century Persian robe is made from floral print cotton fabric. The robe is unique in its design of a overlapping collar, straight and tight sleeves, curved cuff, and underarm openings for easy body movement. The robe is knee length. It is fitted on the upper body and slightly flares out to the hem with splits on the sides. It reveals one of the typical Ottoman fashion.



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