Ceremonial Wall Hanging with "Tree of Life" Motif

Indonesia, late 19th - early 20th century
L.142.0 cm, W.69.0 cm

In both East and West, the tree represents God, the Universe, Life, and Fertility. As a result, tree motifs are frequently depicted on religious implements and ceremonial textiles. This wall hanging from Sumatra, for example, was used in important ceremonies such as weddings. The Tree of Life is depicted springing from a triangular mountain, revealing that the piece received influence from Indian textiles. The blossoming, scrolling plant motif in the border originated in the Middle East, while the use of red woven wool was imported from Europe. Furthermore, the combining of red with black is thought to have come from Chinese culture. The triangular bamboo shoot design, however, is native to Indonesia. This wall hanging is extremely interesting as an illustration of how the influence of the many cultures that traversed Sumatra were synthesized to create integrated artforms.

Fujin (Wind God)
Circle (Enso)
Jar with Decoration of Peonies and Blue Magpies
Tea Leaf Jar with Design of Mt. Yoshino
Jar with Decoration of Fish and Aquatic Plants
Ewer with Brown and White Glaze
Dish of Nabeshima Style with Landscape Decoration
Tea Caddy of Bunrin Type, Known as "Hakata Bunrin"
Autumn Flowerbaskets
Letter to Master Shutong
Segment of a Commentary on the Diamond Sutra
Standing Nikko-bosatsu (Sunlight Bodhisattva)
Hotei, God of Fortune, Watching at Cock Fighting
Two Scenes from The Tale of Genji
The Zen Patriarchs Fengkan, Hanshan and Shide
Ceremonial Wall Hanging with "Tree of Life" Motif
Tea Bowl, Amamori Type
Circular Box with Decoration of Flower and Birds
Chest with Floral Decoration under Oxhorn