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"Colors from the rugged wilderness of Pakistan, Afghanistan and Uzbekistan"

March 10th — July 14th, 2023

West and Central Asia seem more distant from us than the physical distance due to factors such as the rugged terrain, climate, Islamic cultural sphere, and complicated political background. However, there are diverse and beautiful dyed and woven textiles that are a concentrated product of the history and culture of the Silk Road, which has flourished through trade between East and West since ancient times.

 In Pakistan, a unique dyeing and weaving culture protected by natural fortresses has been preserved. In particular, the costumes from the former Northwest Frontier Province (now Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province), which are on display in this exhibition, stand out from the dark colors of the mountainous region with their gorgeous, intricate embroidery using silk threads. The costumes of Nuristan, the neighboring mountainous region of Afghanistan across the border, give an impression of wildness, but here, too, exquisite embroidery is used. The nomadic Pashtuns' wedding costumes are often decorated with amulets and charms to protect them from evil spirits. Other costumes include the flamboyant Suzanis of Uzbekistan and typical costumes of Turkmenistan.

 The massive floods that hit Pakistan are still fresh in our memories, and Central Asia, including Afghanistan, has been in turmoil since the invasion and collapse of the Soviet Union, the terrorist attacks in the United States, and beyond. We would be delighted if you could take a look at the beautiful dyed and woven textiles that were once born from the harsh nature, and remember that there is a wonderful universal activity at the foot of the rugged land.