Art on a String

Kites were flown in China and India as early as the seventh or eighth century. Early priests used them as religious tokens and military leaders used them to transport supplies and occasionally soldiers across rivers. In the eighteenth century, Japanese merchants hung kites as signs to advertise their wares.

Many countries have developed individual kite styles based on masters of the past and the images on modern kites are often centuries old. While in some parts of Asia master kite makers sign their names to kites, the images that are utilized are rarely original.

This exhibition consists of unusual kites collected in Asia and created for a variety of uses. Text panels by Dave Checkley of the Kite Factory in Seattle, Washington, and Will Yolen, founder of the International Kitefliers Association, along with wall labels, and photographs of kites and kite makers supplement this display.