Layers of Influence: Unfolding Cloth Across Cultures – Identity and cultural expression are manifested in an exhibition drawn from Western Canada’s largest textile collection
The Museum of Anthropology (MOA) at UBC is delighted to announce the unveiling of Western Canada’s largest textile collection in an expansive new exhibition, Layers of Influence: Unfolding Cloth Across Cultures on display November 17, 2016 – April 9, 2017. This dynamic exhibition will showcase more than 130 handmade and coveted textiles from around the globe, representing a vast expanse of culturally significant cloths ranging from the hand-dyed batiks of Bali, appliqued button blankets from BC’s Northwest Coast, jaspe weavings of the Mayan people of Guatemala, elaborate ikat creations from India and Indonesia, and much more.
“From birth to death, people are wrapped in cloth. We wear clothing for warmth or protection from the sun, but also as an expression of political power, social prestige, pride in identity, and spiritual protection,” notes Dr. Jennifer Kramer, MOA Curator. “This stunning exhibition is a celebration of humanity’s multifaceted and complex history with cloth, as both a creative tool and physical manifestation of a culture’s values, ideals, and overall identity. An immersive, sensory experience, the collection’s colourful abundance, exquisite embroidery, and luxurious materials will leave visitors with a deeper understanding of clothing’s role in self expression and in awe of human creativity.”
Drawn from a vast collection 90 years in the making, the exhibition will showcase a global range of materials, production techniques and adornments utilized across different cultures and time frames. The impressive collection is a lavish display of many of the world’s most iconic ensembles, indicative of unique rites of passage, cultural celebrations, spiritual ceremonies, as well as everyday functional uses.
The exhibition will transform MOA’s Audain Gallery into a veritable forest grove of textiles, with great swaths of delicate and ornate cloths enveloping visitors in culturally, spiritually, and religiously significant garments. Grouped by geographical area, the textiles will be arranged to facilitate an up-close examination of the sophisticated, time-intensive workmanship involved in each piece, coupled with the creative use of dozens of different materials – from silk, alpaca wool, flax fibre, kiwi feathers, and mulberry bark.
MOA’s revered assemblage of globally significant textiles represents a true celebration of Vancouver’s multiculturalism, and its innate connection to a vast array of global cultures. From China, Southeast Asia, and Japan to India and New Zealand, these fascinating cultural groups are Canada’s trading partners, tourists, and immigrant populations who continue to shape and impact our collective Canadian culture today.
About MOA (moa.ubc.ca)
The Museum of Anthropology (MOA) at the University of British Columbia (UBC) is world-renowned for its collections, research, teaching, public programs and community connections. Founded in 1949 in the basement of the Main Library at UBC, its mission is to inspire understanding of and respect for world arts and cultures. Today, Canada’s largest teaching museum is located in a spectacular building overlooking mountains and sea. MOA houses more than 42,000 ethnographic objects and 535,000 archaeological objects, including many that originate from Asia (about 40 percent of MOA’s collection) as well as from the Northwest Coast of British Columbia. The Koerner Gallery features one of Canada’s most important European ceramics collections, while MOA’s Multiversity Galleries provide public access to more than 10,000 objects from around the world. The Audain Gallery and the O’Brian Gallery, MOA’s temporary exhibition spaces, showcase travelling exhibits, as well as those developed in-house.
MOA presents Layers of Influence: Unfolding Cloth Across Cultures
November 17, 2016 to April 9, 2017
November 17, 2016 @ 7pm
Museum of Anthropology
University of British Columbia
6393 NW Marine Drive, Vancouver, BC