In the exhibition ‘Un à Un’ textile company Vlisco showed classic patterns, re-interpretations and new designs. The exhibition zooms in on four specific aspects: the company’s history, production processes, design processes and use of the fabrics in fashion and art. In this presentation, developed especially for Vlisco’s 170th anniversary, the emphasis will be on the captivating visual qualities of the fabrics and on their powerful symbolism.
The exhibition coincides with a presentation of the artwork of Yinka Shonibare MBE who has used patterned Dutch wax batik fabrics in his work since the 1990s. The fabrics were inspired by Indonesian design, produced in Helmond by Vlisco and sold by this company to the colonies in West Africa. In the 1960s the materials became signifiers of African identity and independence. Shonibare uses the textiles to represent the hybridity of identity as much as the implications of colonialism, and the coloured fabric has become a hallmark of his work.
The exhibition was included in the extensive collaboration of the province of Brabant in concurrence with the proclamation of 2017 as ‘Mondriaan to Dutch Design year’, an initiative of NBTC Holland Marketing, The Hague, Leiden, Utrecht, Gelderland, Drachten and Brabant.