Women on the island of Timor weave some of the most colorful and varied textiles in Southeast Asia. These cloths are a primary vehicle of cultural expression, and they continue to be made, used, and exchanged in ways that reveal deep social, religious, historical, and political meanings. Textiles of Timor, Island in the Woven Sea is the first major exhibition to focus on Timor’s rich textile arts. It showcases nearly fifty beautifully dyed and intricately patterned cloths, including many from the Fowler Museum, which maintains one of the world’s most complete and best-documented collections of Timorese textiles. The exhibition integrates material from West Timor, which is a part of Indonesia, and the new nation of Timor-Leste (East Timor). While the recent tragic history of the region has promoted separate identities for the two halves of the island, this project highlights shared themes that are important in the lives of people of all of the diverse cultural groups on both sides of the border.
Textiles of Timor, Island in the Woven Sea is organized by the Fowler Museum at UCLA and co-curated by Roy W. Hamilton, Senior Curator of Asian and Pacific Collections, Fowler Museum, and Joanna Barrkman, an independent curator recently contracted to the National Gallery of Australia.
Major funding for the exhibition and accompanying publication is provided by the R. L. Shep Endowment Fund at the Fowler Museum and the Henry Luce Foundation. Generous support is provided by the UC Pacific Rim Research Program, the E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Foundation, and The Ahmanson Foundation, on the recommendation of Foundation Trustee Emeritus, Lloyd E. Cotsen (publication only). Additional support comes from the Stella Krieger Memorial Fund, Avrum and Martha Bluming, Carolyn and Charles Knobler, the Fowler Museum Textile Council, The UCLA Foundation in memory of Anne Summerfield, and Manus, the support group of the Fowler Museum.