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PostPosted: Tue May 05, 2015 3:48 pm 
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I have received information from Tsai Yu Shan about an exhibition currently running at the National Taiwan Museum, Taipei (24 March - 30 August 2015). The exhibition is: "Vivid Ancestor Paintings- A Plains Aborigines Exhibition".

The Museum says:
Quote:
“This exhibition is based on important Qing Dynasty records on the plains aborigines (from the 1700s-1800s), including the “Map of Taiwan Under the Reign of Emperor Kang-xi” and “Genre Paintings of Aboriginal Peoples.” Through digital multimedia displays and multimedia reconstructions the exhibition brings visitors back in time, showing how the earliest settlers in Taiwan used to live and the uniqueness of their culture.”

Of particular interest to forum members is that Yushan has lent eight pieces of her fine and careful reproductions of weaving of these plains aboriginals, or Pingpu, for inclusion in a glass showcase at the entrance to the exhibition.

See the National Taiwan Museum's website for their current exhibitions section

Yushan has very kindly sent me photos of her work on the textile reproductions and some explanatory text for sharing with the forum. I need to do some preparatory work on this but wanted to get information on the exhibition onto the forum as it has already opened. I will add the text and photos when I have finished working on them.

I attach a couple of photos of the showcase at the exhibition entrance.


Attachments:
File comment: Exhibition case at National Museum of Taiwan exhibition showing reproductions of Pingpu textiles woven by Tsai Yu Shan - 2
P1310933w.jpg
P1310933w.jpg [ 185.75 KiB | Viewed 3556 times ]
File comment: Exhibition case at National Museum of Taiwan exhibition showing reproductions of Pingpu textiles woven by Tsai Yu Shan - 1
P1015182w.jpg
P1015182w.jpg [ 147.31 KiB | Viewed 3556 times ]

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PostPosted: Thu May 07, 2015 2:48 pm 
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I am going to start the information supplied to me by Tsai Yu Shan with some text from the current exhibition referred to above at the National Museum of Taiwan. I will then follow it up in separate posts with information on individual textiles which Yu Shan reproduced and add the photos which she sent me on each textile.

Quote:
The Weaving Skills of the Plains Aborigines in Taiwan

The plains aborigines are renowned for their excellent weaving skills and the highly distinctive style of their woven fabrics, particularly the meticulously detailed entwining twill pattern and decorative diamond pattern used on the Hanging Flags Banner. Exhibition items of note include a two-piece bridal skirt, special horizontal stripes on a four-color brocade jacket and patterned designs that appear as if covered with red seal stamps. These are characteristic of traditional weavings of the plains aborigines and are one of the true treasures of Taiwanese handcraft art. The bridal skirt (which can be seen in the “Hand Holding” display) is an exquisite work of rare quality. It not only has a high warp density and exquisite patterns, but also is the product of many hours of hard work by an expert weaver. This bridal skirt in the National Taiwan Museum collection is also the oldest bridal skirt known.

Like other Taiwan aborigines, the plains aborigines used a back-strap loom. All of the reproductions of woven fabrics in this exhibition are based on the research work of Associate Professor Tsai Yu Shan of the Department of Textiles and Clothing at Fu Jen Catholic University. The original items are rare and often the sole surviving textiles in the collections of the National Taiwan Museum and the Museum of Anthropology of National Taiwan University. These reproduction textiles retain the same weaving structure as the original items, but have been woven on a dobby loom. In addition the plains aborigines traditionally used long fibre strips removed from the stalks of the ramie and dendrobium plants in their weavings but in the reproduction textiles these fibres are replaced with modern natural silk, cotton, linen, wool and a new ecological plant fibre. [National Museum of Taiwan exhibition text.]

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PostPosted: Thu May 07, 2015 2:51 pm 
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Reproduction textiles copied from the collection of the National Taiwan Museum

Bridal Skirt.
The masterpiece is a 19th bridal skirt rich in elaborate patterns, ornate with glass-bead fringes on the bottom. The skirt was part of the wedding attire for a bride and was a woven fabric with a thin cotton-cloth band sewn to the top of it. Generally, plain weave is most common in supplementary weft woven fabrics. This masterpiece skirt, however, was woven in a fancy plain weave.


Attachments:
File comment: Yu Shan working at the National Taiwan Museum
PB283696w.jpg
PB283696w.jpg [ 133.47 KiB | Viewed 3539 times ]
File comment: Yu Shan weaving at home - detail
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P1015157w.jpg [ 98.53 KiB | Viewed 3539 times ]
File comment: Yu Shan weaving at home
P1015141w.jpg
P1015141w.jpg [ 115.11 KiB | Viewed 3539 times ]
File comment: “Hand Holding” model display with a bridal skirt made by Tsai Yu Shan
P1015186w.jpg
P1015186w.jpg [ 113.79 KiB | Viewed 3539 times ]

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PostPosted: Thu May 07, 2015 2:53 pm 
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Reproduction textiles copied from the collection of the National Taiwan Museum:

The red jacket
The red jacket is woven in ramie and woollen threads. It is unique in its graphic design. The fabric appears as if it has been printed with vermilion seals all over it.


Attachments:
File comment: 2012/13 Yu Shan working at the National Taiwan Museum analysing their textiles
PC053738w.jpg
PC053738w.jpg [ 149.25 KiB | Viewed 3539 times ]
File comment: reproduction
P7294923w.jpg
P7294923w.jpg [ 102.99 KiB | Viewed 3539 times ]

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PostPosted: Thu May 07, 2015 2:54 pm 
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Reproduction textiles copied from the collection of the National Taiwan Museum

Four-colour Brocade Short Jacket
The brocaded jacket woven in ramie, wool and a special fibre removed from the Dendrobium [a genus of orchids] plant stalk used to be worn as ceremonial attire. Even at the National Museum of Taiwan such finery is among the rare and precious items in its fabric collection. Such fabrics are characterised by the richness of their vibrant colours and the vivid patterns that are crafted by supplementary wefts. The brocaded jacket is rectangular in shape and was made by sewing together two pieces of cloth. This was a common garment in the past among the Austronesians. The attire was splendid and aristocratic to look at. However, as the woollen threads were loosely twisted they become breakable with time, almost all the finery seen in the museums has suffered from common damage with broken wefts; the yellow dendrobium plant fibre has been damaged the most.


Attachments:
File comment: Test sample work before beginning the reproduction
P2073915w.jpg
P2073915w.jpg [ 145.01 KiB | Viewed 3539 times ]
File comment: Yu Shan worked at the Japanese Folk Crafts Museum
P1014702w.jpg
P1014702w.jpg [ 126.87 KiB | Viewed 3539 times ]
File comment: reproduction
DSC_2493w.jpg
DSC_2493w.jpg [ 169.05 KiB | Viewed 3539 times ]

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PostPosted: Thu May 07, 2015 2:56 pm 
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Reproduction textiles copied from the collection of the Museum of Anthropology of National Taiwan University

Hanging Flags Banner
The Hanging Flags Banner was a trophy awarded to the winner of the traditional annual ritual running race of Taiwan’s plains aborigines such as the Pazeh and the Kaxabu. The banner was about 125cm x 43cm in size and was made to be worn hanging down the front of the body of the winner. The banner was a cloth delineated into several sections by horizontal banding. There are two styles of pattern . The first one is composed of smaller, connected patterns. The other is gigantic, with the basic grid size of more than a hundred thousand reaching a hundred and sixty thousand at its maximum. The gigantic patterns on the plains aborigines banner are the largest graphic design that Yu Shan has ever analysed. It is definitely among the unique fabrics in the world’s aboriginal fabrics. It is, however, most unique in its weaving technique. In traditional weaving, the patterns are based on plain weave and are symmetrical in most, if not all, cases. The patterns on the plains’ aborigines banner are asymmetrical by crafting the weave to create asymmetric diagonal line patterns. To plot the pattern for such a graphic design was already a difficult task before the skill required to weave the design into a length of fabric.


Attachments:
File comment: Yu Shan's reproduction of the long banner
DSC_3559w.jpg
DSC_3559w.jpg [ 102.17 KiB | Viewed 3539 times ]
File comment: Detail of the work in progress on the reproduction
P1015074w.jpg
P1015074w.jpg [ 141.39 KiB | Viewed 3539 times ]
File comment: detail of the original banner in the Museum's collection showing the twill weave of the background fabric and the horizontal stripe and the red weft with a long float; both are very different skills compared to other Taiwan tribes.
P9103138w.jpg
P9103138w.jpg [ 110.91 KiB | Viewed 3539 times ]

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PostPosted: Thu May 07, 2015 2:58 pm 
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Reproduction textiles copied from the collection of the Museum of Anthropology of National Taiwan University

bridal skirt and woven band


Attachments:
File comment: original items for analysing
P9033117w.jpg
P9033117w.jpg [ 145.56 KiB | Viewed 3539 times ]
File comment: Yu Shan sewed two pieces together
P2043898w.jpg
P2043898w.jpg [ 135.62 KiB | Viewed 3539 times ]
File comment: finished reproduction skirt
P1015164w.jpg
P1015164w.jpg [ 145.37 KiB | Viewed 3539 times ]
File comment: reproduction band
DSC_3565w.jpg
DSC_3565w.jpg [ 112.11 KiB | Viewed 3539 times ]

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 19, 2017 5:48 pm 
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Tsai Yushan has been in touch recently to tell me about a film which was made about Taiwan aboriginal weaving and is now on YouTube:

Quote:
This is a "Discover" program , which was broadcast last night (2017/02/18) to Chinese regions of the world. It presents Taiwan Aboriginal weaving tradition. I'd like to share it with you!

What relates to my research part is from 8:50 (8 minute 50 seconds) to 21:40, and you can see I show the 'Asian Textiles' magazine [of the Oxford Asian Textile Group] covers at 15:13. In this video two weaving women are my former Atayal students (special class for aborigines at Fu Jen University in 1999~2001). From 41:31 ~you can see our Dept of Fu Jen Catholic University where I was teaching a young Atayal student in class, her mother is a weaver who learnt weaving skill from my former Atayal student, both are in this video . Sister Maryta is in the video too.

Yushan gave me the YouTube link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8AjpxOB0A_s&t=597s I have managed to get the video to run on this forum page. An advert runs first but you can quickly click the 'x' to get rid of it. You may find the video more responsive to running full screen etc. if you use the direct YouTube link.

Sadly the video is not in English but much is self-explanatory especially if you are already aware of the background to Yushan's painstaking work on reproducing Taiwan aboriginal weavings.

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