The National Museum of Prehistory has sentits exhibition on Asia's baby-carrying culture to the Stony Brook University and the Taiwan Academy in New York. The 47 relics will be available to the New York public from March through September.
The exhibits, including 26 items from the National Museum of Prehistory collection and 21 on loan from other collectors, came from Taiwan, southwest China, and Borneo. Each of the 47 items is unique, represents a different tradition, and passes down stories of propagation.
Among the exhibits are special "wrap cloth” (花佩/蒙被) and "baby straps” (被央) from Kinmen. Different "baby strap” designs are used for men and women, and the one used by men has a pocket. The "wrap cloth” is equally intriguing, boasting a black-and-white grid, a Buddhist swastika symbol, and a piece of lead that is sewn on the top to ward off evil.
Another baby carrier from southwest China is unique because of its hand-embroidered spiders, pomegranates, butterflies, and other exclusive patterns. The Dong people (侗族) consider spiders to bring longevity, prosperity, peace, good luck, and wisdom to their newborn, while the butterfly pattern is widely used by the ethnic group of Miao in Guizhou Province in southwest China to represent proliferation of their descendants.
The National Museum of Prehistory said whether the items in its collection can be put on display has to take into consideration various factors, including the physical state of the cultural relic, its weight in the exhibition, and conditions of the exhibition space, and there are stringent regulations regarding the cultural relics before, during, and after the loan. For example, such professional and technical requirements as using acid-free packing materials, buffer devices, temperature and humidity adjustment technology, shock-proof equipment, and fumigated wooden boxes have to be met.
The "Love and Blessings: The Art of Baby Carriers” touring exhibition is part of the 2015 Asia Week New York, which celebrates Asian art within the metropolitan context of New York.
‘Love and Blessings: The Art of Baby Carriers'