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Patterned Splendour: Textiles Depicted on Javanese Sculpture, 8th to 15th century 

Patterned Splendour: Textiles Depicted on Javanese Sculpture, 8th to 15th century 

Date & Time: September 30, 2021, 12:00pm – 1:00pm HST

A virtual talk with Dr. Lesley Pullen (Department of History of Art and Archaeology, SOAS University of London)

In conversation with Dr. Paul Lavy (Department of Art and Art History, University of Hawai’i at Mānoa)

View recording here.

About the Webinar

Numerous free-standing figurative sculptures produced in Java between the eighth and the fifteenth century feature a sartorial style displaying detailed textile patterns. As the equatorial climate of Java has precluded the survival of any local textiles from this period, these statues represent our only remaining evidence of the splendour of such medieval textiles.

This talk will address the complexities of researching and analysing such a variety of sculptures in a broad range of materials and will be well illustrated with photographs and supporting images of similar 20th century cloths. Using empirical methodology and with the support of detailed line drawings the textile patterns are revealed. This talk will explore some of the complex patterned textiles revealed on these sculptures and their possible origins in China and Indo-Persia, placing Java and Sumatra within a cosmopolitan world.

About the Speakers

Born in Medan, Dr. Lesley Pullen was educated in Hong Kong and the UK; met her husband in Kuala Lumpur in the 1970s and lived around Asia for 25 years. An art historian focusing on medieval South and Southeast Asian material cultures, she completed at SOAS University of London both her Masters in 2008 and her PhD in 2017. She was subsequently appointed a SOAS Post-Doctoral Research Associate. Her teaching experience includes tutoring the Southeast Asian Art module of the SOAS Postgraduate Diploma programme from 2009 to 2015, and tutoring a similar programme at the V&A Museum since 2015. Lesley has lectured for various institutions, published several articles, and is currently a member of Bangkok’s Editorial Board of the SPAFFA Journal.

Dr. Paul Lavy received his BA in cultural anthropology and his MA and PhD in South and Southeast Asian art history. Prior to coming to UH Manoa, he taught ancient art history at Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles, and Asian and Islamic art history at Pennsylvania State University, University Park. Dr. Lavy has conducted research in India and throughout Southeast, particularly in Cambodia, Thailand, and Vietnam (where he lived for a couple of years). His ongoing research, which has been funded by the University of Hawaii Research Council, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Asian Cultural Council, and the National Security Education Program, investigates the links between art/architecture and political history in early historic Southeast Asia. His primary interests are the Hindu-Buddhist artistic traditions associated with the Mekong Delta and Preangkorian Khmer civilization and their relationships with the art of South Asia. He is currently researching and writing a book on early sculpture from Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam, entitled The Crowned Gods of Early Southeast Asia.

Part of the UHCSEAS Fall 2021 Webinar Series.

Our next talk is by Dr. Trent Walker on Text and Bitext in Cambodia, on October 14. More info here!


Sep 30 2021


Times stated in HST.
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM

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