September 03, 2015
May 02, 2016
Honolulu Museum of Art
Identify Yourself addresses who we are through textiles that chronicle our human condition over several centuries and around the world. Recorded on cloth are cultural histories, retold through myths and legends, divulged as religious rhetoric, encapsulated on ancient fragments, or revealed as personal and literary narratives. Woven, stitched, and printed, these works denote social status, gender and age exalted through time on textiles depicting the human form. Some are explicit and clearly identifiable, others remain shrouded in mystery, real or imagined, providing fertile ground for creative interpretations of the faces on fiber
Included in the exhibition are textiles featuring the powerful Queen Semiramis of Babylon on a 15th-century Flemish tapestry, a lover from a scene depicted in the Chinese opera The Romance of the Western Chamber, and an ancient Peruvian Paracas warrior from a thousand years ago. Imagine the conversation that could take place between these characters. Would the discussions turn into shouting matches, romantic quiet whisperings or lead to spiritual religious chanting in an attempt to evoke emotionally charged responses? Identify Yourself is a textile reflection of the world before selfies defined who we are.