Material Choices: Bast and Leaf Fiber Textiles in Asia and the Pacific


This is a listing of older East-West Center events (newer listed first).  See Events to get the list of current or upcoming events.


When: Feb 10 2008 (All day) until Mar 30 2008 (All day)
Where: East-West Center Gallery, Burns Hall, 1601 East-West Rd., Honolulu

Opening reception: Sunday, February 10, 2008, 2:00-3:30 p.m.,
including exhibition walk-through with Roy Hamilton.

In a world now awash in a global trade of industrially produced cottons and synthetic fabrics, it is easy to forget that all of the cloth needed in any community once had to be woven by hand and that much of it was made from bast or leaf fibers. Today even the word bast, which refers to a layer of fibers found in the stems of plants, is unfamiliar to most people.  The current EWC exhibition, developed by the Fowler Museum at UCLA, features a diverse selection of bast and leaf fiber fabrics from the region, and illustrates how weavers have overcome the notorious challenges of processing and dying these materials to create textiles of subtle, natural beauty and sophisticated design.

"Material Choices" introduces gallery visitors to bast and leaf fibers such as hemp, ramie, abaca and other banana fibers, piña (or pineapple fiber), pandanus, New Zealand flax, and a variety of lesser-known fibers. More than 25 rare textiles are on view, representing the Philippines, Japan, Vietnam, China, Indonesia, New Zealand (Maori), Papua New Guinea, the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM), Tonga, and Hawai`i.  Guest Curator:  Roy Hamilton.Other Special Events
In the Gallery; admission free


Sunday, March 9, 2:00-3:00 p.m.
"Exploring Hawaiian Lauhala" by Wendy Roylo Hee. Discussion /demonstration and viewing of the short film Ulana Lauhala  by Wendy Hee and Heather Giugni.


Sunday, March 16, 2:00-3:00 p.m.
"Contemporary Fiber Work," an illustrated talk by Prof. Mary Babcock, Fiber Artist, University of Hawaii Art Department.


Sunday, March 30, 2:00-3:00 p.m.
"Ma`awe Hawai`i," a demonstration by Hawaiian fiber artist, Marques Marzan

EWC contact: Eric Chang, Arts Program Assistant, EWC Gallery (808) 944-7584, email: [email protected]

Gallery hours are Monday-Friday 8 a.m.-5 p.m; Sunday noon-4 p.m. Closed Saturdays and holidays. Admission is free. Visitor parking on the adjacent UH campus is $3 and is usually easily available on the upper campus after 4 p.m. weekdays; Sunday parking is normally free and ample.

Primary Contact Info:
Name: Michael Schuster, Curator
Phone: 808-944-7543