Wednesday, September 29, 2010

To Dye For

I was able to use my last hours in San Francisco on 26 September to visit “To Dye For, A world saturated in color” a small exhibit in the De Young Museum dedicated to textiles decorated using the resist-dye technique. The various techniques were explained briefly, but really the focus of the exhibit was on the exquisite cloths that have been made using these techniques: a mordant-dyed cloth from India, batiks from Java, Thailand and Toraja, ikat from Sumba, the Iban Dayak and Afghanistan, shibori from Japan, mud resist from Africa and so on. Each example was a perfect jewel and thus the exhibit earned the double entendre on its title.  I particularly enjoyed the blend of modern textile art pieces and traditional textiles in the exhibit, although the preponderance of California artists skewed the otherwise balanced, universal representation of the resist techniques. Related books and textile art souvenirs were available for purchase at the entrance of the exhibit.

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