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Temporary Exhibition

Wearing Asia-The Exchange and Creation of Textiles
Wearing Asia-The Exchange and Creation of Textiles
Extension:Temporary Exhibition 2019/01/29~ 2019/07/28
Showroom: S304
Exhibition Description


Exhibition Description


  • Introduction

    Special Exhibition/ S304

    Wearing Asia-The Exchange and Creation of Textiles

    Fabric is essential for tailoring clothes. Before the Industrial Revolution, the production of textile was done in a very small scale and mostly at home. Nowadays, there are various ready made textile products available in the market, and people no longer have to work at a loom. As a result, fabrics have become simultaneously the most familiar yet strange materials to us. Through differences in spinning, dyeing, or the uniqueness of the ornamentation, even the pre-cut fabrics of ancient Asia can be decoded and identified to a particular culture, religion, gender or even occupation. What's even more interesting is that across the aesthetics of time and region, the spread of ancient fashion was far faster than we could have imagined. After all, fascinating things always have a way of becoming fashion. China had been famous for making smooth silk textile as precious as gold. These unique silk textile serves as a symbol of East Asian civilization. In South Asia, India produced premium quality dyed cotton fabric that was not only hugely popular throughout the world, but also helped launch a global revolution in cotton textiles. These cross-region trends and trends not only drove business opportunities, but also cultural influence. In Indonesia, which is thousands of miles between the Pacific and Indian Oceans, elements from different cultures and regions gather and flow, they being released out to the world again at the proper time.

    This exhibition presents the Asian fabrics and wardrobes in the National Palace Museum collection, including those from China, Japan, Tibet, and other regions within the cultural circles of East Asia, as well as the fabrics of India, Indonesia, and other countries in the South and Southeast Asian cultural circles. The three sections, "Thousand Threads - Superb Weaves and Embroideries of East Asia", "Vibrant - Dazzling Dyes of South Asia and Southeast Asia”, and “Circulation - The Cross-regional Influence of Ornamental Techniques and Art” introduces fabrics and wardrobes from different culture circles. Furthermore, they explore the cross-regional exchange and creation of fabrics amidst the flow of trade. In addition, an educational promotion area will showcase the "Splendid Textile - Common Decorative Techniques for Asian Fabrics" to introduce simple and easy techniques to decorate textile in Asia.

  • The Chinese mainland gradually developed an agricultural economy based on sericulture with the successful domestication of wild silkworms. The unique spinning and weaving technology emerged the silk civilization. With the development of processing technology, silk fabrics, such as brocades and satin, not only became the clothing materials for the imperial court and the upper class, but also has a lasting effect on the other neighboring East Asia regions. For example, trade along land routes with Tibet and sea routes to the Japanese archipelago were all influenced by weaving techniques and ornamental culture implications. Moreover, the Tibetan region uses the dragon patterns and ruyi clouds that are symbolic Chinese ornamentations; or, the famous Nishijin weaving and Yuzen dyeing in Japanese traditional kimonos features auspicious meanings such as peony, lion and tortoiseshell. These have nearly become a common ornamental language in common.

  • Vibrant - Dazzling Dyes of South Asia and Southeast Asia

  • Circulation - The Cross-regional Influence of Ornamental Techniques and Art


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