Traditional Chinese hats on exhibit at Kortman Gallery


A contemporary handmade child’s hat.

• Opening reception for exhibit set for 5:30-9 p.m., Aug. 3

Staff Report

Mao Zi: an exhibition of traditional Chinese hats” opens Friday, Aug. 3, in the Kortman Gallery in downtown Rockford.

The colorful, mostly handmade hats represent different periods and provinces of China. Mao Zi is the Chinese term for “hat.”

As in most cultures, hats tell a story or represent social status or even express ceremony or celebration,” said Gallery Director Doc Slafkosky. “Many of the hats on display are hats created for children by family members, so you could even say that hats represent family endearment.”

Most of the hats on exhibit are older, representing colorful folk art and provincial traditions, while some of the hats are newer, influenced by the cultural revolution. Paintings and sculptures influenced by Chinese artist Yue Minjun are also included in the show.

These hats are not only little works of art, but personal objects,” Slafkosky said. “This exhibit presents a chance to get a firsthand glimpse, both visual and tactile, of the culture of this vast and compelling country. Gallery patrons are welcome to touch the hats’ fabrics and other decorative materials.”

An opening reception for “Mao Zi: an exhibition of traditional Chinese hats” will be from 5:30 to 9 p.m., Friday, Aug. 3, which coincides with First Friday Downtown. The hats will be on display through Sept. 8. Admission is free.

The gallery is upstairs at J. R. Kortman Center for Design, 107 N. Main St. For more information, call (815) 968-0123 or visit

From the Aug. 1-7, 2012, issue

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