Lying along the trade routes between India and China, island Southeast Asia has been a crossroads for merchants, pilgrims, and travelers from many parts of the world. Weaving Stories, a new exhibition exclusively at the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco, brings together more than 40 outstanding examples of textiles and garments from across Indonesia, as well as the Philippines and Malaysia, to consider how fabrics produced primarily by women, such as the ikats and batiks that have inspired global fashion for centuries, are woven not only into the daily lives but the cultural foundations of these communities. At the same time, the exhibition shows how hand-made and naturally dyed textiles provide a platform for self-expression and social meaning for women, both as artistic innovators and as vital transmitters of scientific knowledge.
For more information, view the press release on the Asian Art Museum’s website.
Image: An Iban woman spinning, Kalimantan, 1900–1940. Collection Nationaal Museum van Wereldculturen. Coll. No. TM-60006393.