Lampung Imagery, Textile Iconography of South Sumatra
Evening presentation by Thomas Murray, Asian and Tribal Art Expert, Founder, Thomas Murray Asiatica- Ethnographica
Drink reception at 6:30 pm
Presentation at 7:00 pm
Close at 8:00pm
The Lampung District in south Sumatra is home to the most celebrated textile tradition of the Indonesian Archipelago. An area known at its core for ancient Austronesian megaliths, Bronze Age decorative influences, and the great cultural impulse of the Buddhist/Hindu state of Srivijaya a millennium ago, there also washed upon its shores a cosmopolitan world of ideas and trade goods from China, India, Arabia, and Europe exchanged for their prized Lampung pepper. From this, we witness a cultural and aesthetic hybridization at its most fertile, both esoteric and compellingly beautiful, but not widely understood. Thomas Murray, expert in Indonesian sculpture and textiles will shed light on this exclusive topic by way of a thorough examination of the ritual cloth of the area. A review the major weaving and dyeing artistic expressions, including the famed supplementary weft palepai and tampan ship cloths; initiation sarongs with their rich embroidered boat and ancestor iconography, tapis; lampit mats patterned by burning with hot pokers; and the mysterious weft ikat bidak ritual cloths with their small bird and deer motifs, and others, to provide a greater understanding of the Lampung textile art form. Murray will present original research demonstrating some very early dating of certain special cloths, insights gained from radiocarbon testing. Lampung textiles will be contextualized as part of a greater SE Asian textile heritage, including looking at comparative woven structures and iconography from the Mainland, Borneo and some of the outer islands of Indonesia.
Thomas Murray is a private dealer of Asian and Tribal art with an emphasis on Indonesian sculpture and textiles, as well as animistic art from other varied cultures. He also features Indian printed trade cloths from the 13th-18th Centuries.
He has placed objects in more than 30 museums on four continents. A Hali contributing editor for the last 20 years, he serves as their in-house expert on all ethnographic textiles and has been featured in more than 50 publications. He frequently lectures and has been published extensively in the US and abroad. He is Past President of The Antique Tribal Art Dealers Association and most recently became a member of President Obama’s Cultural Property Advisory Committee.