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Flat Basket with swastika motif, from Taiwan

Accession Number
2006/2.36

Title
Flat Basket with swastika motif, from Taiwan

Artist(s)
Chinese

Artist Nationality
Chinese (culture or style)

Object Creation Date
20th century

Medium & Support
woven bamboo

Dimensions
2 3/4 in. x 15 3/16 in. x 15 3/16 in. ( 7 cm x 38.5 cm x 38.5 cm )

Credit Line
Gift of Ellen and Richard Laing

Label copy
This 20th Century basket (check date) has a swastika pattern achieved by a twilled weaving technique, dating back to the third century B.C. The use of this pattern suggests it might have been used at a wedding or a birthday celebration as the swastika (wan) is a homophone for “ten-thousand” and is used in various combinations to suggest “endless” --a positive sentiment for such happy occasions. Punning words are common in Chinese language because many words share sounds. Such word play flourishes in decorative arts as a means of carrying out the traditional belief that if families surround themselves with symbols of good fortune, their wishes will come true.
(Label for UMMA Chinese Gallery Opening Rotation, March 2009)

Subject matter
Flat woven bamboo basket with geometric pattern in red and black and the design of a swastika ("wan") in the middle, which is a homophone for "ten-thousand" and is used in various combinations to suggest "endless;" therefore, it is believed that this basket may have been used at a wedding or birthday celebration.

Physical Description
Flat woven bamboo basket with geometric pattern in red and black

Primary Object Classification
Basketry

Additional Object Classification(s)
Decorative Arts

Collection Area
Asian

Rights
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Keywords
bamboo (material)
baskets (containers)
patterns (design elements)

& Author Notes

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