The National Museum of Prehistory (NMP) launched "Making in Efflorescence: Connected in Thread: Exhibition of Weaving Arts in East Asia" to showcase the material culture of various ethnic groups in East Asia and reflect their history of female craftsmanship through textile technology from Jan. 9 to Feb. 21 this year.
Regardless of whether they are the ethnic minorities of southwest China, or the women weavers in the Mepuwal tribe of Taiwan, planting cotton, linen, breeding silkworm moths, and weaving has required a lot of effort. The exhibition featured a wide range of costumes, archaeological objects, modern fabrics and public artworks of the minority peoples in Southwest China and Taiwan. Ethnic costumes, Miao weaving machine and sewing kit from Fo Guang Shan Buddha Museum’s collection were shown at the same time.
Divided into five exhibits – "history of weaving," "dyeing and weaving techniques," "knitting and sewing," "baby carriers" and "silverware" – the museum hoped to present the female weaving culture of the East Asian ethnic groups, which uses delicate and gorgeous decorations and techniques to provide a fusion of traditional and modern elements.
"History of weaving" explored the historical development of weaving in various places in East Asia since the Neolithic Age when humans used the rotating gravity of spinning wheels to turn plant fibers into thread, and then weave them into cloth. "Dyeing and weaving techniques" addressed women’s aesthetics sense in the weaving process, which enhances the value and social status of the fabrics. "Knitting and sewing" highlighted the women’s understanding of virtue and judgement in relation to handmade crafts such as weaving, sewing, embroidery and patchwork. "Baby carriers" displayed baby carriers used to carry and wrap up babies. Finally, "Silverware" showcased the silver jewelry that can be found on children of the Miao tribe for thousands of years.