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Tour of Fowler Museum Exhibits on Southeast Asian Women and Textiles

Docent tour by Roy W. Hamilton, Senior Curator for Asian and Pacific Collections at the Fowler Museum at UCLA

Wednesday, December 01, 2010
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
Fowler Museum (meet in main lobby)
UCLA Campus
Los Angeles, CA 90095

Through December 5, 2010, the UCLA Fowler Museum is showcasing two unique museum exhibits on Southeast Asian women and textile production.  This tour will highlight some of the amazing features of these exhibits.

Nini Towok’s Spinning Wheel
Cloth and the Cycle of Life in Kerek, Java. The community of Kerek is the last place in Java where batik is still produced on handwoven cotton cloth and where a full range of handwoven textiles provides the foundation for a remarkable system of knowledge. Named after Nini Towok, the Javanese goddess who cultivates cotton in the heavens and sends her yarn to Earth in for form of moonbeams, the exhibition explores the multiple meanings of Kerek’s rustic but beautiful textiles. Many fine examples of these rarely seen cloths illustrate the various techniques, patterns, and color combinations. The exhibition concludes with a series of seventeen outfits, each specific to a particular individual according to their sex, age, social status, occupation, and place of residence.

Weavers’ Stories from Island Southeast Asia
Weavers and batik artists speak for themselves in videos recorded at eight sites in Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, and East Timor. What motivates them to create new patterns? How do they adjust to changing social and economic situations? A panoply of human emotions and experience—determination, longing, dream inspiration, theft, war, and more—emerge from the stories of these remarkable women. The videos are accompanied by newly made textiles created by each of the featured weavers and batik makers.

Roy W. Hamilton is Senior Curator for Asian and Pacific Collections at the Fowler Museum at UCLA. His previous books include: Gift of the Cotton Maiden: Textiles of Flores and the Solor Islands, From the Rainbow’s Varied Hue: Textiles of the Southern Philippines, The Art of Rice: Spirit and Sustenance in Asia, and Material Choices: Refashioning Bast and Leaf Fibers in Asia and the Pacific. He began his current round of research on the textiles of Timor with a Getty Fellowship in 2007.

Cost : Free and open to the public.


Sponsor(s): Center for Southeast Asian Studies, Fowler Museum at UCLA

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