It’s too splendid to miss. An exhibition of 300 artefacts from Sumatra opened last night at the Asian Civilisations Museum in Singapore. “Sumatra: Isle of Gold” runs from today through 7 November 2010, giving us all plenty of time to plan a Singapore stopover to see the show, which is the first international touring exhibition about Sumatran culture.
The dizzying array of objects exhibited includes a diamond-studded crown worn by the Sultan of Siak, silk and gold-threaded textiles, beadwork, sculpture, and a glorious trove of jewelry and ornament. Many pieces are from the ACM’s permanent collection, while others are on loan from the Indonesian National Museum in Jakarta, the National Museum of Ethnology in Leiden, and from private collections, making this an unsurpassed opportunity to appreciate the rich spectrum of this rich island’s culture from the bronze age to the present day.
Kevin Lim has already posted a set of photos of the exhibition opening party on flickr (below), and some of the pieces on show (magical inscriptions in an antique Batak book, above).
Personally, it is gratifying for me to see a major exhibition on the arts and artefacts of Sumatra, as I have been collecting Sumatran textiles, baskets and beadwork for the past two decades. My collections are, of course, available for purchase at ICON Asian Arts and Macan Tidur in Bali.