Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Tush Kiiz Envy

Editor's Note: To celebrate the grand opening of the newly expanded Quilt House gallery, International Quilt Study Center & Museum team members are blogging about pieces in the gallery's inaugural exhibition, "Getting to Know You."

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By Marin Hanson
Curator of Exhibitions

As I thought about why I love this Kyrgyz tush kiiz so much, I looked around my house. And it suddenly became obvious: I have tush kiiz envy.

When I travel internationally, I always bring home something to hang in my house – on the wall, sometimes, but particularly on the ceiling or in a doorway. I love the concept of welcoming people into your home space(s) with beautiful textiles or other decorations. I also like passing under them myself on a daily basis – they serve as a reminder that beauty is everywhere, even in our most commonplace spaces.

These pieces are mostly from India – which undeniably has some of the most beautiful textiles in the world. At top left is a mango and chile pepper fabric ornament that is a quintessential symbol of Mumbai; at top right is a toran, or Indian door decoration with symbolism rooted in both Buddhism and Hinduism; and at bottom right is a beaded hanging from Kutch, in Gujarat. At bottom left are two pieces from China. They were made by a famous artisan from rural Shaanxi Province and they are both loaded with auspiciousness (on the right-hand piece, stacked from top to bottom, are the symbols for fu (a bat), good luck, lu (coins), wealth, and shou, longevity – for those of you who love your Chinese symbology!).

So I guess this just means that I now have to go to Kyrgyzstan and get my own tush kiiz – I have the perfect spot for it: the dramatic portal between my living room and dining room!

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