The Peranakan Museum proudly presents “Fukusa: Japanese Gift Covers from the Chris Hall Collection,” an exhibition that offers a deep dive into the traditional Japanese practice of gift-wrapping with fukusa. Running from 19 April to 25 August 2024, this showcase brings to light the exquisite craftsmanship and cultural significance of fukusa, silk covers used for presenting gifts, which date back to the Edo period (1603–1868)​​.

The exhibition celebrates the generous donation of Japanese art by the esteemed collector Chris Hall. It features over 80 pieces, including fukusa, kimonos, and related textiles, allowing visitors to explore the rich tapestry of Japanese textile artistry. The collection delves into the themes of craft, trade and exchange, and the act of gifting across cultures, providing a unique lens through which to view the interconnectedness of art and tradition​​.

Fukusa are square or almost square pieces of lined fabric, typically made of fine silk, and adorned with embroidery in auspicious designs. They were traditionally used to drape over gifts placed in boxes or on trays, with the choice of fukusa reflecting the giver’s wealth and aesthetics. The motifs depicted on fukusa, ranging from nature scenes to aristocratic culture, were chosen to indicate the occasion for the gift or to align with one of the annual festivals when gifts were exchanged​​.

This exhibition at the Peranakan Museum not only highlights the beauty of fukusa but also invites visitors to draw connections between the gift customs of the past and present. An interactive digital program, hands-on workshops, performances, and tours further enrich the experience, allowing for a deeper engagement with the art and traditions showcased.

The exhibition is open daily from 10 am to 7 pm, with extended hours on Fridays until 9 pm. Admission is priced at $6 for Singaporeans and Permanent Residents, and $16 for foreigners. Don’t miss this opportunity to immerse yourself in the world of Japanese textile artistry and the timeless tradition of gifting at the Peranakan Museum.

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