Historic exhibition of traditional Indonesian Ikats textile to be held in Lisbon

YarnsandFibers News Bureau 2014-07-21 15:00:00 – Lisbon

An historic exhibition of traditional Indonesian ikat textiles entitled ‘Woven Languages’ will be held at the Museo do Oriente in Lisbon. It is the first exhibition in the world dedicated exclusively to the fabulous profusion of Indonesian ikat weaving traditions in a comprehensive fashion.


Ikats are fascinating textiles – extremely hard to make, hauntingly beautiful, and surrounded by mystery.


A few cloths are on loan from other museums but the core of the exhibition is formed by the renowned ‘Pusaka Collection’ of Peter ten Hoopen, author and long-time Portugal resident, who began his passionate collecting while travelling in Indonesia in the 1970’s.


The exhibition, on 500+ m2, presents the weaving arts of the entire Indonesian archipelago, from Sumatra and Borneo to East-Timor and beyond, including early 20th century examples from remote, tiny islands. The collection is enriched by scholarly documentation that brings to life the people, notably the women, who made these fascinating textiles.


Of special interest are the Sumatran silk ikat shawls with gold brocade, the sacred Balinese 'double ikats' from Tenganan, colonial period sarongs from the Moluccas, and refined ikat textiles from Los Palos in East Timor, of which less than ten are known to be extant. Perhaps the most spectacular piece is a 4.5m long 'elephant patola' made in India for Indonesian rajas, one of the best preserved of a dozen known pieces in the world.


The Pusaka Collection consists of 175 pieces, both antique and vintage. The Pusaka Collection is not a business, but a private collection, built up over decades by purchases on the islands and from dealers and auction houses around the world.


The exhibition is held at Museo do Oriente, Avenida de Brasília, Doca de Alcântara (Norte), 1350-352 Lisbon from 23 October 2014 – 25 january 2015, opening hours Tuesday through Sunday 10.00 – 17.00.

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