An Exhibition of Traditional Artwork from Mainland Southeast Asia in Budapest 2016.

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Ferenc Hopp Museum of Arts – Budapest

September, 26. 2016 – 20 April, 20.2017.

The language of this region art and its people handwork invites the locals and foreigners to have a glimpse into the artistic language … long forgotten or not.

The decorations seen is simply breathtaking … thanks to the curator and others at the museum … View closely on the surface of picture scrolls, beautiful hand-made work of textiles, the clothing and everyday household items visually codes with specific meanings.

Brilliantly coloured fabrics from the areas examined in this exhibition are emblazoned with figures of spirits, animals, mythical beings in the guise of beasts, and symbols of protection, which allow insight into the complex system of faith that prevails in the region, derived equally from Indian mythology and Buddhism, which is depicted in a variety of ways across Southeast Asia. Including the serpent deities from Lao Tai tradition.

Talking about traditions … The Indians traders probably first appeared in the Southeast Asia in the 1st. century. Proof of the presence and prominent role of textiles from  India has survived from the 11th – 13th centuries. Manly in the form of wall paintings and reliefs in temples, as well of statues of gods. By the 15th century, Indian textile traders had developed a commercial network which stretched from Africa to China. The main centers of trade for Indian textiles were in Gujarat on the Coronel Coast and also in Bengal. All of the textiles traded, the most valuable were the “ikat silk” made with tided threads, called as “patola”. The special framework pattern of the patola became the standard form for ritual textiles across Southeast Asia.

Between the 16th and 18th centuries a large proportion of the population across in the indian Ocean region dressed in cotton textiles from India and these become distributed across local markets mostly by European traders. As time passed by more-and-more textiles came on the markets, were made in Java, Cambodia and Siam. The patterns used to-day are  fabrics made in Thai and Kmer ikat fabrics  which still recalls the designs featured on Indian patola textiles. 

The museum and its exhibitions are definitely not a one occasion to visit … each month.  the exhibitions are accompanied by contemporary artists and guided tours.

See previous update for further information:

Update and snaps Aggie Reiter

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