By The Nation
In the past, patterns on fabrics illustrated the social class of people. For some people with artistic tastes, like Rolf von Bueren, fabric with fine art has become a collectors' item with collections from around the world. Von Bueren is renowned not only for having high taste but also for being eagle-eyed in spotting Asian fine arts on fabric. He carefully selects all the great works and rare items from across the world, especially from Asian countries where some of the ancient techniques are at risk of extinction.
With his intention to share all of this knowledge and works to collectors and art lovers, he has organised “Lotus Arts de Vivre: Woven Jewels”, a rare fine art fabric exhibition. Besides pashmina shawls over 200 years old with a complex and traditional weaving technique that is close to extinction, the exhibition also features Obi by Genbei Yamaguchi, the famous Japanese Obi expert and the master of fine art who combines Japanese handicraft and modern art, woven jewels that is unique in Obi fabric pattern and batik fabric handbags from Malaysia mixed with weaving technique from the Support Foundation under Her Majesty Queen Sirikit. The exhibition is honoured by Luckana Kunavichayanont as the storekeeper. Those who are interested can make a reservation at Tel. 089-667-6077 from Sunday until February 28, 10am to 5pm at Lotus Arts de Vivre Gallery, Rama 3.
Revealing his obsession for the beauty of textiles, Rolf von Bueren said: “Textile originated from determination and imagination of the weavers, reflecting both way of life and civilization that are unique in each country. It is the cultural heritage of each country. With my work that took me around the globe, especially Asian countries, in search of highly-skilled craftsmen and rare materials to create accessories and home decoration items, I have met numbers of very skillful weavers who are interested in fine art on fabrics that is delicate and beautiful.
"I have started collecting since 1965 -- 56 years ago -- and would like to share with everyone the beauty of handicraft works.”
Pashmina shawl is from Kashmir in the northern part of India. The items displayed by Rolf are over 200 years old. Each piece of fabric is made using the inner side of the fur of goats in the Himalayan region, which are very soft and delicate, especially goats residing at an high altitude of 4,300 metres. Complicated patterns and combination of natural colours from saffron result in stunning beauty of the fabric which has provided warmth to owners for centuries. It is a pity that this technique of fabric is close to extinction.
Pashmina shawls are valuable collection items that Rolf keeps in a well-controlled lighting and moisturising room with air-conditioning on 24 hours a day, besides regular cleaning to protect the items from insects and bugs. Pashmina shawls displayed at the exhibition are unique in boteh or paisley pattern that is currently very famous in the fashion world. It originated from Persia, and means flowers or bouquet of flowers.
Boteh pattern came to India in the 16th to 19th century during the Mughal empire and was mostly used as shawls representing social class of high society as well as nobility. In the mid-17th century or colonisation era, boteh reached Europe and became one of the most famous patterns in the fashion world.