“Selimut Nusantara” (Blankets of the Archipelago), Presenting the Majesty of Indonesian Textile Diversity at Carrousel du Louvre
Renowned Indonesian fashion designer Edward Hutabarat will showcase the beauty of Indonesian weaving art in an exhibition entitled “Selimut Nusantara”, which will take place from 28 November 2023 – 8 January 2024 at the Carrousel du Louvre, Paris.
The exhibition will highlight fabrics from across Indonesia; Ikat Tenun from Sumba and Timor (East Nusa Tenggara) as well as Bali and Sumbawa (West Nusa Tenggara), Ulos from Samosir and Songket (both from Sumatra). It will also shed light on the beauty of Borobudur temple as the largest Buddhist temple in the world.
Edward Hutabarat, renowned for his creative contributions to Indonesian fashion, has consistently showcased the beauty and diversity of his homeland. In this latest endeavor, Hutabarat explores the cultural significance of weavings, particularly from East Nusa Tenggara.
“Indonesia is known for its ‘sandang’, ‘pangan’, and ‘papan’ (clothing, food, and shelter), and this is what constitutes their civilization.” With this in mind, Edward Hutabarat names these fabrics as “blankets of civilizations”.
Accompanying these textiles will be Hutabarat’s photographs, offering a glimpse into their origins and the intricate creation processes. These photos were taken during his numerous journeys to different parts of Indonesia for the past two decades, where he delved into the long history of fabric-making. They serve as witnesses to the life and community that make and surround these fabrics.
With tens of thousands of islands and hundreds of ethnic groups and languages, Indonesia is renowned as a maritime nation, with many fishermen and farmers. In their daily lives, textiles are integral. They may serve as blankets to cover the frail body. They are also taken by fishermen to sea, washed by its water, only to dry up in the scorching sun of East Indonesia.
As Hutabarat explained, “The civilization of Indonesia is closely tied to these ‘blankets’ (textiles),”. “However, ‘blankets’ in Indonesia are known under other local names namely sarung (a piece of cloth which two opposite ends are stitched together), jarit (a thin cotton fabric, often in Batik or Lurik), amongst others.”