Chinese Influences in the Gold Thread Embroidery of Southwest Aceh

Ixora Room, Peranakan Museum
13 Feb 2017
7 pm

This lecture will examine fine gold thread embroidered textiles from southwest Aceh. Beautiful textiles, as well as many other items of material culture, are often categorised as part of fine arts, craft, or museum studies. The writing about these items examines the materials of construction, techniques employed, and modes of use. Each of these facets adds to our understanding. But the focus of this lecture will be primarily historical. As one of the cosmopolitan trading centres on the northern tip of Sumatra, exchange, innovation, and the congruence of magnificent display with enhancement of status were all important in Aceh. Chinese emissaries were part of this historical economic web of contact.

About the speaker

Barbara lived in Aceh for two years in the late 1970s. During that time she undertook research for the book Hands of Time:The Crafts of Aceh; Tangan Tangan Trampil: Seni Kerajinan Aceh. She has written many related articles and given conference presentations in this field. Her PhD from the University of Sydney was in the field of the sociology, studying Indonesian education in Aceh. She worked as a senior academic for 12 years at the Institute for International Studies, University of Technology Sydney, and is now retired. She was recently allowed access to a magnificent private collection of Acehnese textiles in Kuala Lumpur. Her interest in textiles and the means by which they can be a window into the kaleidescope of life, is ongoing

This lecture is free. Seats are available on a first-come, first-served basis. No registration is required.

Image: Ceremonial hanging for use in an Islamic wedding, Tilampandak basusun. South Aceh, Second quarter 20th century. Private collection of Sim Tan.