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‘Ages of Sarasa’ at Fukuoka Art Museum

‘Ages of Sarasa’, Fukuoka Art Museum, Japan, 11 October-24 November 2014

All Japanese have heard the word ‘sarasa’: it is strangely familiar, yet carries with it the echoes of foreign lands. The Fukuoka Art Museum’s exhibition ‘Ages of Sarasa’ uses the term to refer not only to Indian cotton fabric made through mordant and resist dyeing, but also to a variety of fabrics produced through various techniques in many nations, based on the original Indian fabric. Using the term in this way makes it possible to view for the first time the genre’s entire thousand-year history. The familiar threads of sarasa as found in Japanese culture are woven with trends from Europe or Indonesia, resulting in a tapestry of 500 years of history.

Read curator Etsuko Iwanaga’s take on the exhibition in HALI issue 181.



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