sound bites

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 26 March, 2006, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 26 March, 2006, 12:00am

Your collection, Power Dressing, at Singapore's Asian Civilisations Museum, features 125 pieces, including imperial robes, votive hangings, badges of rank and three complete sixth-century garments. What's the story?

Hong Kong-based collector Chris Hall:

'Most of the textile objects are silk, which is one of China's most important contributions to civilisation. Although silk was much more important in the past, its history isn't well known and there are few old silk products left. This is because silk is much more fragile than, say, porcelain or jade.

'I obtained these mainly from auctions or dealers. The best old silk garments are often from outside mainland China. That's because the Chinese had too much silk clothing. If they wore out, people would simply throw them away. But overseas, silk was precious and rarely worn.

'It's my pleasure accumulating these beautiful textiles and showing them as often as I can, so people today can learn more about their ancestors' creations.

'There's a possibility that the collection will be displayed on the mainland soon.'