USC Pacific Asia Museum

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46 North Los Robles Avenue
Pasadena, California 91101
Open Wednesday through Sunday 10am to 6pm
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USC Pacific Asia Museum

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Asia's Woven Wonders:
Treasures from Pacific Asia Museum's
Textile Collection

June 1–August 25, 2002
Members' Exhibition Preview: 1-5pm, Saturday June 1, 2002

Kesi panel
Buddhist Cloth, Kesi Panel,
China, c. 1830, Silk, Metallic Gold Thread.
Gift of Mr. & Mrs. Stuart Butler
in memory of Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Fistere

USC Pacific Asia Museum is presenting Asia's Woven Wonders (June 2 - August 25, 2002), an exhibition of roughly 100 Asian textiles and costumes from the Museum's extraordinary collection from China, Japan, India, the Himalayas and Southeast Asia. These textiles are rarely exhibited because of their fragile nature and the harmful effects of exposure to light.

The exhibition will feature Chinese textiles including Dragon Robes worn by China's emperors and imperial family during the Qing dynasty (1644-1911). These robes feature nine powerful sacred dragons, the symbol of the Emperor, embroidered or woven across the front and back of the silk robes. Yellow robes are the rarest of all, since the color yellow [symbolizing the sun] was worn exclusively by the Emperor. One such yellow robe, worn by the Guangxu Emperor (1875-1908) as a boy, will be on display.

Also included in the exhibition are magnificent Japanese kimono, some dating to the Edo period (1600-1868). One striking example, a kimono bearing a phoenix dyed in indigo blue will be on display. Several patchworked silk brocade robes, or kesa, used by Japanese Buddhist monks during prayer will also be exhibited. From Southeast Asia, Indonesian ikat-dyed cloth and batik woven textiles, and pineapple-fiber, or piña, cloth from the Philippines will be on display. Colorful silk sari and elegant silk robes made for the Moghul court, as well as richly decorated costumes from the kingdom of Bhutan in the Himalayas will also be exhibited.

Related Festivals, Lectures, and Talks:

  • Members' Exhibition Preview is on Saturday, June 1, from 1-5pm. Members are invited to this special preview.
  • Saturday June 15, 1-4pm Family Festival
    Costumes of Asia Festival

    Families will enjoy this afternoon celebrating the colorful and varied traditional clothes of Asia. The Museum is pleased to host Japanese culture lecturer, Tomi Kuwayama who will illustrate the art of wearing kimono with a demonstration. Throughout the afternoon, children may participate in paper costume making workshops featuring the clothes of Pakistan, Qing Dynasty Imperial China and Japanese kimono. Visitors may participate in tours of the current exhibition, Asia's Woven Wonders. Tea tasting stations will be available.
    This event is free to the public.
  • Author Talk with Mary Hunt Kahlenberg
    To complement our exhibition, Asia's Woven Wonders: Treasures from Pacific Asia Museum's Textile Collection, textile expert Mary Hunt Kahlenberg will discuss and sign her newest book, Asian Costumes and Textiles from the Bosphorus to Fujiyama: The Zaira and Marcel Mis Collection. Ms. Kahlenberg curated our recent exhibition, Bamboo Masterworks: Japanese Baskets from the Lloyd Cotsen Collection. She and her husband, Robert T. Coffland are co-owners of Tai Gallery/Textile Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Please contact the Museum Store for program date and time, and to make a reservation at 626.449.2742.

  • Saturday August 24, 11am-12noon Lecture
    Dale Carolyn Gluckman,
    Gold in Asian Textiles
    Dale Gluckman, curator of costumes at LACMA, explores the many ways in which textiles in Asia were, and often still are, embellished with gold leaf, thread and metal strips through a variety of techniques, including sewing, printing, stenciling and weaving. Virtually all cultures in Asia used gold in at least one of these ways on special textiles to indicate wealth and status, demarcate ritual space, or signify ceremonial function. For those without the means or access to gold, clever methods were used to simulate the light—reflective qualities of gold—proving that all that glitters is not necessarily the real thing.