Du 31 aout au 14 décembre 2016
La galerie Iris and B. Gerald Cantor du Holy Cross College présente une exposition d’ikat asiatiques de Bornéo. C’est une occasion d’admirer des textiles remarquables, rarement montrés, provenant de la collection privée de John G. Kreifeldt, professeur émérite au département de la Tufts University.
Kreifeldt has amassed a comprehensive representation of textiles from Borneo known as ‘pua kumbu,’ ‘sungkit’ wraps, and ‘kain kebat’ ceremonial skirts. These intricately dyed, hand-loomed cotton textiles were once woven on back strap looms as religious objects par excellence by the Iban and related Dayak women, who were seen as great experts and highly skilled natural dye producers during the 19th century to early 20th century.
The exhibition will focus on textiles from Sarawak and West Kalimantan woven from the 1800s to 1940, when they were still used as ritual objects and were said to be full of powerful spirit forces. Pua were designed to be beautiful in order to attract the attention of the gods and invite them to draw near to human ceremonies, or ‘gawai.’
Since the 1910s pervasive, on-going economic modernization and the conversion of villagers to world religions have pushed these textiles to become mainly secular objects, such as family heirlooms. The cloths are still woven today, but through changed ideological contexts. Because of their complex designs and aesthetic magnificence, pua are now prime components of international art collections, and are being ‘revived’ by local and international non-profits that work with village women weavers.