Fabric of Life - Textiles Arts in Bhutan: Culture, Tradition and Trans­formation

The Austrian artist and academic presents her book: Fabric of Life - Textiles Arts in Bhutan: Culture, Tradition and Transformation, De Gruyter (2016).

Karin Altmann will bring some Bhutanese textiles from her own collection.

Karin Altmann shows us Bhutan textiles in their diversity: they are clothes and everyday objects, currency and commodity, mark important events as gifts during life, and are testament to the social status of a person. But they are also an integral aspect of religious festivals, dances, and rituals that provide insight into the mystical and religious beliefs of the Bhutanese people, and reflect the concept of gender in Bhutanese society. The book also tells the story of a country that is searching for a sensitive balance between tradition and progress in a globalized world.

About Karin Altman

Karin Altmann is an Austrian artist and academic. She is a senior lecturer at the department of Textile Arts at the University of Applied Arts Vienna. Her research interests are the practical and theoretical exploration and development of the textile element as a specific mediality, with regard to its appearance and significance in art and culture. Consequently, theory and practise always relate to, extend and deepen each other. The last twelve years have been devoted to researching the connections between art and spirituality. This line of research has been pursued in her diploma thesis, entitled Kyrgyz Felt Art in the Context of Nomadism and Shamanism, and more recently in her doctoral thesis on Bhutan’s Textile Arts, for which she spent almost an entire year in Bhutan.