The exhibition “Lines of Possibilities: Taiwanese Rush Weaving” has been specially curated for London Craft Week 2021. It traces the practice’s origins, starting with the memories woven with rush by the households of Yuanli, Miaoli, through to recent innovations in the industry, and the emergence of brand creation and cross-field collaborations.
Taiwanese rush weaving has a history reaching back over 300 years, originating from the small township of Yuanli in northwestern Taiwan. Playing host to this unique industry, Yuanli is known as the hometown of Taiwanese rush. Handicrafts such as rush-woven mats and hats were the among Taiwan’s top three exports during the Japanese colonial era and the post-World War II period. However, as time went on, Taiwan’s rapid economic development and the rise of mass produced goods on the island nation caused a decline in the rush weaving industry. In recent years, a younger generation of talented young artisans have returned to Yuanli, sparking a renewed interest in this traditional industry and reviving the craft of rush weaving. A new page in the story of Taiwanese rush weaving has begun, giving the craft global recognition.
Taiwanese rush weaving is considered an intangible cultural asset. It goes beyond time, location, and material, remaining unshakable as a traditional craft with the passing of time. Taiwanese rushes resemble a common language in traditional Taiwanese culture, providing a fresh perspectives on the history of Taiwan. As time has gone by, rush weaving has become a shared memory of Taiwanese people.
“We tell the story of the Taiwanese culture through the craft of rush weaving”
Associated with Taiwan Yuan-Li Handiwork Association and supported by the Ministry of Culture, Taiwan.
Exhibition date: 30.09.2021– 10.10.2021 11:00-18:00
Oxo Tower Wharf, Barge House St, London SE1 9PH