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At The Art Institute | Vanishing Beauty: Asian Jewelry And Ritual Objects

"Immerse yourself in the rich cultures of some of Asia's most remote regions with this summer's exhibition Vanishing Beauty," the Art Institute says.

"Drawn from Art Institute Trustee and accomplished photographer Barbara Levy Kipper's sweeping collection of Asian jewelry and ritual objects promised to the museum in 2014, the exhibition presents more than 300 exquisitely crafted works - highlights from this expansive, diverse, and thoughtfully assembled collection - that offer a panoramic view of the fast-disappearing nomadic and tribal cultures of Asia."


1. Miao Silver Making.

"The Miao people constitute one of China's largest ethnic minority groups, living in tight-knit communities across Guizhou province. For thousands of years, silver jewelry has played an important role in Miao culture. It serves as dowry, is worn in weddings, and indicates clan membership. Today, highly skilled Miao silversmiths continue to create intricate jewelry with traditional techniques."


2. Dressing Up In Ladakh.

"In this short video, partially shot in Leh, Ladakh, India, Angmo Tsangspa dresses her niece, Sonam Angmo, in traditional Ladakhi attire. Sonam discusses the function and meaning of various objects of adornment in Ladakhi culture, their significance as family heirlooms, and the importance of preserving traditional dress today."


3. Badass Jewelry.

"Among the pieces on view are a vast collection of Tibetan and greater Himalayan Buddhist ritual objects and adornments, Islamic silver jewelry from the nomadic tribes of Turkmenistan and the city-states of Uzbekistan, tribal and folk jewelry from across South Asia, personal ornaments from the Indonesian archipelago, and the monumental jewelry of southwestern China's ethnic minorities. Tying all these disparate objects together is the fact that the peoples who produced them have largely been pushed into the margins, surviving today only in the remotest of areas. In these cultures, jewelry is auspicious and holds great meaning; it is rarely mere adornment. Necklaces, pendants, earrings, and headdresses all serve social, ritual, or talismanic purposes."


Through August 21.


Comments welcome.


Posted on June 23, 2016

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