Into the Light

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Embroidered silk throne cushion, Jiaqing court, China, 1780-1820. Purchased with funds donated by Ken and Yasuko Myer, 1989.

Into the Light

Asian Textiles in the Powerhouse Museum Collection

Opportunities to see museum and gallery collections of the Asian arts we love have been off the agenda during our Covid-19 isolation. Additionally, when it comes to seeing textile collections, their very nature demands storage methods that make physical access quite challenging. Curators and collection managers tenderly fold and roll them, shielding them from the light, but happily for us we can throw open a digital door and immerse ourselves in a virtual inspection.

The Powerhouse Museum’s collection of Asian textiles, most of which are now tucked up in its Castle Hill store, has been growing steadily since the Museum’s foundation in 1880. It is extensive and diverse, reflecting and celebrating the artistry of many different societies across the vast Asian region, from Turkey to Tokyo. Like the rest of the Museum’s outstandingly varied and vital collection, the Asian textiles have generally been acquired with its signature focus on design, materials and technology in mind, in tandem with their socio-cultural significance. It is a pleasure to bring some of these beautiful objects out into the light this evening.

Christina Sumner OAM was Principal Curator Design and Society at Sydney’s Powerhouse Museum and is a founding member of TAASA. She has curated numerous exhibitions and written and lectured widely on Asian textiles. Christina confesses to a lifelong love of textiles, in particular those from the Asian region through which she has travelled widely. In recent years she has led textile-focused tours to India, Central Asia, Bhutan and the Caucasus.


Please email Chris Manning by Saturday 4 July to secure your place:

Registration (only available to members) closes Saturday 4 July. Registered participants will be sent the link a day or two before the lecture. If you have not used Zoom before, there is no need to download it in advance. Just follow the prompts after you click on the link that will be sent to you upon registration and your device will download and connect you to Zoom.


6 July, 2020
5:00 pm - 6:00 pm AEST
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