ACMtalks: Bead netting and plaiting techniques in the Peranakan World with Valerie Hector
Thursday, 17 February 2022, 7pm
To register, click on the link: https://go.gov.sg/acmtalks11
It has long been recognised that the Peranakan Chinese peoples of Southeast Asia were expert bead embroiderers. As it happens, they were also expert bead netters and plaiters, using techniques likely derived not just from Europe, as early researchers tended to assume, but from island Southeast Asia and China as well. Knowledge of these and other needleworking techniques helped Peranakan beaders devise ingenious new beadwork techniques, some of them highly complex. In so doing, anonymous Peranakan beadworkers enriched the global repertoire of beadwork technique – a rare and unusual accomplishment that has yet to be fully understood.
In this illustrated talk, Valerie Hector will document links between bead netting and plaiting techniques practised by the Peranakan Chinese in the late 19th and 20th century and those practised in Europe and island Southeast Asia. She will then show examples of three complex techniques apparently invented by Peranakan Chinese beaders, discussing the logic of how these techniques work, and how they might have been developed.