An Exhibition of Antique Textiles from Southern Part of Sumatra

By vira

In the spirit of rediscovering Indonesian culture, Pithecanthropus, a Bali-based fashion brand, consistently creates items inspired by objects from the past combined with modern perspective. Currently they are collaborating with Masa Masa, a restaurant and cultural hub in Gianyar, in hosting an antique textile exhibition: MUARA.

Some of the displayed textiles.

Rivers, from upstream to the delta, hold a crucial role in civilisation. They not only provide water for drinking and agriculture but also interconnection between villages, even nations. In the southern areas of Sumatra, society and communities were formed through the interconnection of water bodies including the rivers. That is where a lot of transactions and journeys took place, including the journey of a cloth.

An Exhibition of Antique Textiles

Inspired by this part of history, Pithecanthropus Bali presents MUARA, an exhibition that showcases over 50 textiles from Jambi, Palembang, Bangka, Bengkulu and Lampung, as well as Peranakan jewellery and betel nut chewing sets (Tepak Sirih). It’s running from 17 December 2022 until 14 January 2023.

Besurek cloth from Bengkulu

The opening event featured a performance by Putu Septa, who reinterpreted traditional music from Palembang. The displayed textiles are from late 19th century to early 20th century, each flaunts exquisite details that portray the characters and natural commodities of each province. The textiles show an array of patterns and gold-like colours with Songket of Palembang and Lemar Mentok of Bangka or the mirror adorning Lampung’s Sai Batin or Tapis Lampung. The exhibition also includes Baju Kurung as well as textiles from other countries, which were obtained by the sultanates through barter.

Sembagi cloth or chintz from India
Opening night. Photo by Sharon Angelia.
Opening night. Photo by Sharon Angelia.

Mayor House, Masa Masa

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