Silver & Silk
Exhibit of Textiles and Jewelry of Guizhou, China, at Mingei Intl Museum (San Diego) through March 16
Wednesday, January 08, 2003
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Mingei International Museum
1439 El Prado
A major exhibition of intricately embroidered, hand-woven textiles and silver headdresses, necklaces and bracelets from the southwesten Chinese province of Guizhou opened October 20 at Mingei International Museum. Objects in the exhibition, which continues through March 16, 2003, are part of a collection acquired by Mingei International in 1998 and 1999 with gifts from an anonymous benefactor and the Hamilton-White Foundation. Phila McDaniel is the Curatorial Consultant. A 216-page documentary publication accompanies the exhibition.
Phila McDaniel has made 50 visits to China, including 27 to Guizhou, home to many ethnic groups. It was during these trips that she became acquainted with the cultures of the province and acquired an extraordinary collection of embroidered textiles, adornment and other arts of daily life.
Seventeen of China’s 56 nationalities live within the borders of Guizhou.
Requiring extraordinary time and effort, four or five years are often devoted to weaving and embroidering elaborate folk garments, which in some cases are made up of several skirts and may weigh 40 pounds. In addition, the weight of a young woman’s elaborate silver jewelry may require that she have assistance in walking.
All aspects of festival dress and adornment reveal the origin and history of particular nationalities, clans and subgroups in distinctive colors, patterns and techniques as well as symbolic and historic design motifs. One such motif is the dragon with countless design variations, each specific to the group that uses it. For instance the Miao culture is known for its curling dragon and two-headed dragon. These designs are found on silver crowns, hairpins and ornaments as well as in embroidery and weaving.
Commenting on the exhibition, Martha Longenecker, Founder / Director of Mingei International Museum says, "In this fast-paced, high-tech, computerized world in which people are increasingly dependent on electricity and resources beyond their direct control for obtaining clothing, food and shelter and even pure water, it is gratifying to know of a place like Guizhou. Equally inspiring is the continuity of these more-than-2,000-year-old cultures, of people living close to the earth and sky and expressing their innate creativity in timeless works of art that enrich and embellish our lives."
Cost: Admission - $5 Adults $2 Children (6-17) and Students with ID
Tel: 619 239 - 0003