Synopses & Reviews
A wonderful book that illustrates a wealth of textile and costumes never seen before and covering all the Asian continent from Turkestan to Japan, from India to Indonesia, belonging to the Belgian Mis collection, one of the world's major private collections.
Costumes by their very nature are an intimate expression of the wearer. Clothes hug, shield and advertise the body. Both a personal expression and a public display, clothes connect the wearer to his or her physical environment on a daily basis-think of a fireman's protective coat, a chief's symbolic hat or a tuxedo for formal court presentation. Especially for occasions of importance such as wedding or funeral, clothes broadcast intention and frequently dictate behavior.
The book presents a rich selection of Asian ethnic costumes, brightly colored and beautifully decorated using techniques as varied as embroidery, batik, dyed silk, weaving, suvani, ikats, painted textiles and more. From bold ikat robes from Uzbekistan to beaded skirts from Borneo, from palm fiber jackets from the South Philippines to the silk garments of the Boginese people of Sulawesi: these garments are irreplaceable in today's world. Likewise, the techniques by which they were made are also rarely in use. Some garments were fashioned by cutting material and sewing the pieces together, but many, such as the Balinese scarf intended to wrap around the body, are flat textiles.
This extraordinary private collection of traditional costumes, put together with taste and passion by an Italo-Turkish couple, will take us across Asia Minor, Central Asia, India, South-East Asia, and the Far East: five immense territories spanning from west to east, an impressively multi-ethnic and multi-cultural continent. It is impossible not to be fascinated by the incredible variety of animals embroidered on a Zoroastrian shawl; by the dress from Kohistan with four hundred multiple inserts; by the face cover with which young brides of Karakalpak wore when they left home to go and live at their husband's house; by the wonderful, sheer saris ("jamdani") of Bengal; by the elegance of the royal couple at the court of Yogjakarta; by the vegetable fibre garment worn by Chinese peasants to protect themselves against the rain; by the Japanese fireman's padded uniform...by their contrasting design, techniques, structures and decorations.
About the Author
Mary Hunt Kahlenberg
was assistant curator of Eastern Hemisphere textiles at the Textile Museum in Washington, D.C. and curator of the Textile and Costume Department at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. She curated the Neutrogena Corporation's art collection and oversaw its transfer to the Museum of International Folk Art in Santa Fe. She has written extensively on Navajo and Indonesian textiles. Her best known books are Walk in Beauty
, The Navajo and their Blankets
, Textile Traditions of Indonesia
and The Extraordinary in the Ordinary: Textiles and Objects from the Neutrogena Collection
. She is president of the Tai Gallery/Textile Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
Frieda Sorber, master degree in History of Art and Archaeology at the University of Gent, 1976. Since 1976, first assistant curator: later curator of the Antwerp Provincial Costume and Textile Museum. Regularly involved in fieldwork on the subject of costume and textile tradition in Morocco, Indonesia and the Near and Middle East. She has taken part in several exhibitions and video production in Belgium, the United States and Morocco.
Valérie Berinstain, master degree in History of Art and Indian Studies. Formerly curator of the Asian Textiles Collection of the AEDTA, subsequently lecturer at the Institute of Art and Archaeology and at the National Institute of Oriental Languages and Civilizations, Paris. Author of several works, publications and articles, e.g., Phulkary, fleurs brodées du Punjab, AEDTA, Paris 1992.
Claudine Delecourt, graduate in history, history of art and archaeology. She has worked with the "Service Éducatif et Conférencier des Musées Royaux et d'Histoire de Bruxelles." Author of Vie quotidienne au Tibet, Musées Royaux d'Art et d'Histoire, 1989, and of the Catalogue of the Musée of Mariemont.
Sandrard spent her childhood in Africa. She has shared her life with a sculptor, who has sharpened her natural sense of space, forms and colours. Sandrard is a creative artist and a passionate stylist of costumes that-- by working with the softness or stiffness of materials-- she effectively harmonizes with sensitivity and originality.
Mauro Magliani is one of the most active Italian photographers in the field of the reproduction of objects and works of art. Along with his wife, Barbara Piovan, he has collaborated since 1986 with the most important Italian and European art publishers, realising photographic reports in Italy and abroad.