Online Exhibition: Tampan Shipcloths of Sumatra

An Online Exhibition of unique Antique Tampan, Tatibins, Palepais & Ider Ider Textile Arts from Sumatra.

 

The magnetic appeal of Textile Arts, to me, is directly proportional to
    – the art
    – the craft
    – the symbolism
    – the cultural story and
    – the usage within the lives of the creators
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Textile Arts that have survived the test of preferences of every descendant generation not once but many times over, develop a supreme aesthetic identity. This robust and unique aesthetic is the first hook with which I am reeled in.
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But the greater hook lies in the cultural layer of the palimpsest of traditional Asian textiles.
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Some communities plant their textile artworks into their lives and include them in various aspects of daily living – ceremonies, celebrations, rituals etc.. The lives lived by the people in the environment of textile artwork leave an imprint that although invisible, is very perceptible. The cultural reasons for its inclusions – traditions, beliefs, lifestyles, rituals and practices are all absorbed into the textile. (Energy -> mass transfusions maybe?!)
And it is THIS factor that makes these textiles most appealing to me.
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Every piece becomes a magic carpet and with a few books on the culture to launch the journey, I am transported across time and space and am able to peep into the lives lived once upon a time.
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Of the few textile groups I have been familiar with, the Tampan Ship cloth group from Sumatra presents the greatest depth of stories as they are living documents of family histories – often noting family trees, hierarchies, status details etc.
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Here are a few that I have had the honor of knowing.
I hope you will enjoy deciphering the narrative in these pieces as much as I have!
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