Identify Yourself

  • Exhib_slideshow_exhibition_identifyyourself_325

    'Queen Semiramis with Attendants.' Tapestry. Flemish, Tournai, c. 1480. Wool, silk; tapestry weave. Gift of the Charles M. and Anna C. Cooke Trust, 1946.

  • Exhib_slideshow_exhibition_identifyyourself_2015_13_01

    'The Lady Godiva Procession.' England, Coventry and London, 1842-1883. Silk, jacquard woven. Anonymous Gift, 2015 (2015-13-01).

  • Exhib_slideshow_exhibition_identifyyourself_4181

    Peru, Paracas, ca. 200-100 B.C. Cotton, camelid, plain weave, completely covered with embroidery and needle-knitted border. Gift of Dr. and Mrs. Nils V. Hansell, 1973 (4181.1jj).

  • Exhib_slideshow_exhibition_identifyyourself_6285

    China, Late Qing dynasty, 19th century. Silk mounted as a handscroll, tapestry weave (kos’su) and painting. Bequest of John Gregg Allerton, 1991 (6285.1).

Slide_prev_over Slide_next_over

September 03, 2015 - May 02, 2016
Honolulu Museum of Art

Exhibition Overview

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.