One of my favourite places in Wellington. Asia Gallery is a favourite haunt of mine for amazing recycled Asian fabrics and lots of other treasures. Many textile artists, as well as collectors and lovers of all things Asian and old, know about Asia Gallery. Its still a well kept secret. These photos were taken on my batphone, so are not great quality however I really wanted to show you inside this treasure trove of goodies where I find so many pieces that end up in my work.
Down an alleyway in Kilbirnie, stands an unassuming shop, Asia Gallery.
Exactly why I love using their fabrics because they already have a story and history. The owners make several trips to Asia every year to stock their Aladdin's cave of kimono and relics.
A box of buttons is always hard to resist. Glass, shell, ceramic ... this is vintage at its best.
For me, the older and more worn and marked, the better.
Why go to generic stores when you can own beautiful things with a history?
Many are handmade and hand painted? Ceramics starting at just $5.
If you spend any amount of time with me, you'll see me handstitching bits of fabric together. This jacket is a classic example of boro. For more information on older Asian textiles, go to Sri Threads website to discover the wonder of Boro and so many more handmade, hand woven, and hand dyed Asian textiles.
Detail of Boro Jacket. This patched way of reusing cloth over and over again, to serve the purpose of layering cloth for warmth and function, used by peasants in Northern Japan's bitter winters, has influenced my work in honouring women's handiwork from all over the world. This idea of "making do", remaking and being resourceful for functional purposes resounds in every culture. Boro provides beautiful examples of women's capacity to make something from the barest of resources to provide for one's family and is a symbol of women's wealth during a time when women were not able to own land or assets and her wealth was her handmade textiles and goods.
For information on BORO, follow the link. Thanks to Sri Threads for comprehensive research of Asian textiles. Thanks also to Paul and Dau for allowing me inside their store, cups of green tea and sharing these images with you all.
To be continued... xxx