Rarely-seen facets of Southeast Asia on display
DeKALB – “Rarely Seen Southeast Asia: Art, Artifact, Ephemera,” an exhibition of more than 150 pieces curated by Northern Illinois University professor emeritus Richard Cooler, is on display at NIU’s Anthropology Museum.
Drawn from the museum’s Southeast Asia collection and private sources, the exhibition celebrating the Center for Southeast Asian Studies’ 50th anniversary year is, in Cooler’s words, a “contemporary curiosity cabinet” of sculptures, ceramics, textiles, rattan, wood and leather carvings, silver repousse, mother-of-pearl inlay and paper ephemera. Most of the objects are rarely exhibited for reasons ranging from rarity to cultural taboos.
“Many pieces are finely made of beautiful materials, with some used for anachronistic pursuits such as head hunting, snaring song birds or chewing betel nut,” he said.
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