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  • Denisa Mayari

Fashion Maestro Edward Hutabarat Weaves Heritage in Paris

In the heart of Paris, at the iconic Carrousel du Louvre, an enchanting exhibition is currently whisking visitors away into the rich cultural tapestry of Indonesia. From November 28, 2023, to January 3, 2024, the "Selimut Nusantara" showcase promises a captivating journey through the intricate world of Indonesian textiles.

Renowned fashion maestro Edward Hutabarat gently guides audiences through the breathtaking beauty of traditional Indonesian fabrics. From the vibrant Tenun Ikat of Sumba, Timor, Bali, and Sumbawa to the exquisite Ulos and Songket from Samosir, each fabric tells a tale of heritage, craftsmanship, and cultural significance.

Beyond the colorful fabrics, Hutabarat's artistic vision captures the essence of daily life in Indonesia, where textiles are not just clothes but integral parts of identity and community. In an interview, Hutabarat explains, "Indonesia's culture is intricately woven into its textiles, known by various names such as sarung, jarit, and more."

The exhibition is not just a visual feast; it's also a heartfelt tribute to the grandeur of the Borobudur Temple, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Edward Hutabarat's previous fashion creations inspired by these textiles further emphasize the seamless blend of tradition and contemporary creativity.

Supported by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Research, and Technology, and in collaboration with Best of Indonesia, "Selimut Nusantara" marks a significant step in promoting Indonesian cultural heritage on the global stage. Founded by Nina Hanafi, also President of the Indonesian Diaspora Network in France, Best of Indonesia (BOI) is a crucial player in bringing this cultural showcase to the world. BOI provides a platform to showcase the best Indonesian products to the global market, believing that Indonesia’s offerings can conquer the world with their excellence. Dr. Hilmar Farid, the Director-General of Kemendikbudristek, expressed his appreciation for the initiative, stating, "This aligns with the government's efforts to establish Indonesia's image as a culturally rich country." He added, "The world needs to know more about Indonesia's natural and cultural wealth, as well as its creativity, and I believe Edward Hutabarat's work significantly represents that mission."

For Edward Hutabarat, this exhibition goes beyond the walls of a gallery; it's an invitation for these cultural blankets to become a part of international lifestyles. He envisions them accompanying individuals on city strolls or luxurious journeys, reminiscent of their creation process - washed by the sea and dried under the Eastern Indonesian sun.

The ongoing exhibition marks a historic moment, as Indonesia becomes the first Asian country to showcase its cultural treasures at this iconic venue. It's not just an art display; it's a gateway for visitors from all over the world to explore Indonesia's diverse heritage, its craftsmanship, and the everlasting thread connecting tradition to modernity.

In the spirit of these cultural revelations, may visitors depart not only with a newfound appreciation for Indonesia's rich tapestry but also with a deepened understanding of the interconnectedness of our global heritage. Exhibitions like "Selimut Nusantara" serve as bridges, transcending geographical boundaries and fostering a sense of unity through shared experiences.

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