A collection of Chinese textiles will be exhibited at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship Gallery from Aug. 5 – 30. Collector Karon Winzenz will give a brief exhibition tour from 12 – 1 pm, Aug. 13.
Winzenz started collecting ethnic textiles of China while curating an exhibition for the Peninsula Art School from the extensive collection of Brian and Jeanee Linden. She expanded her collection while helping to lead a tour based at the Linden Center in Yunnan province, a Bai-style elite family compound and national heritage site.
Winzenz’s collection features baby carriers, hats and clothing from the Maio minority (known as Hmong in Vietnam). The Maio elaborate festival costumes are their most important possessions and are considered to be the primary, living expression of their cultural identity. Other minorities represented in the exhibition are the Bai, Yi, Dai, Dong and Yao, who were forced to migrate to southwestern China.
China’s rapid modernization has reached once-isolated districts, resulting in economic, educational and social changes that have begun to erode the production, quality, and use of traditional festive costumes worn by the Miao and other ethnic groups. Winzenz wanted to collect finely crafted textiles that are intimately related to ethnic rituals, life-ways, and practices before their production was compromised.
Most of the textiles in the exhibit are from the mid- to late-20th century, although three are likely from the late Qing dynasty before 1912.
The UU Gallery is free and open to the public. It is located at 10341 Hwy 42 in north Ephraim. For more information call 920.854.7559.