The George Washington University Museum and The Textile Museum

Fabric of Identity: Bingata in Okinawa and Beyond

Curator Lee Talbot will introduce bingata,a unique dyeing technique from the island of Okinawa. For hundreds of years,bold bingatafabrics indicated rank at the royal court of the Ryukyu Kingdom, but the art almost disappeared with the kingdom’s demise. After WWII, resolute craftsmen revived production, and today bingata textiles are among the most widely recognized symbols of Okinawan identity.

Drawing from primary sources including fabrics, workshop archives and interviews with makers and designers, Talbot will examine changes in the production, consumption and social function of bingata from the mid-19th century through the present day.


About Lee Talbot
Lee Talbot joined The Textile Museum as a curator in 2007, specializing in East Asian textiles. He has curated numerous exhibitions and published catalogues, articles, and textbook chapters. Talbot was previously curator at the Chung Young Yang Embroidery Museum in Seoul, Korea. He has a bachelor’s from Rhodes College, MBA from the Thunderbird School of Global Management, and master’s from Bard Graduate Center.