Primary Source To Exhibit Rare Tribal And Asian Art At The San Francisco Tribal & Textile Art Show

  • LOS ANGELES, California
  • /
  • February 06, 2017

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Dewi Sri Goddess, West Bali Circa 1900
Primary Source

When the 2017 San Francisco Tribal & Textile Art Show opens at Fort Mason Center on February 9, an eye-alluring range of ancient artifacts from Primary Source will take center stage. Running through February 12, the San Francisco Tribal & Textile Art Show is the largest, most comprehensive and rigorously vetted fair in the United States.

Says John Strusinski, who founded Los Angeles-based Primary Source 28 year ago, “The Tribal & Textile Art Show is a must-attend destination for top collectors, museum curators, scholars and design aficionados who seek top-notch material. They know from experience what my gallery has to offer, and this year we’re especially delighted to showcase one-of-kind treasures that the fair-goers are not likely to forget.”

Among the Primary Source highlights are:

Dewi Sri Goddess

Hardwood, Traditional Pigments & Copper Adornments, West Bali, Circa 1900

This figure of the Goddess Sri was carried into the temple after she was placed on top of an offering tray filled with fruits and flowers. Embodying everything that is feminine, Sri is the goddess of fertility and the rice fields.

Sword Handle with an Ancestral Guardian

Deer Antler & Fiber, East Borneo, Circa 19th Century

A warrior’s most important possession was his sword, and the jungle dwellers of Borneo always carried their blade with them. This handle is large and elaborate and was the heirloom of a chief. Never used for everyday practical purposes, it was instead displayed with the sword on important ritual occasions.

Crouched Rabbit of Granite

Found in a Kyoto Garden, Japan, Circa 1850

The Japanese believe that when the moon is full there is a rabbit making rice flour—which can be seen in that moon. The rabbit is much admired and is frequently represented all through the arts of Japan. This large sculpture is tranquil yet subtly poised, as if to act, and it illustrates a paradox: the serene and dynamic energies of the rabbit existing simultaneously, a tension intended by the stone carver.

Crouched Rabbit of Granite, Japan, Circa 1850
Primary Source

Shrine Guardian

Wood & Red Pigment, Modang People, East Borneo, Circa 19th Century

This figure, with its outer-worldly countenance, was the protective symbol of a sarcophagus. It is a composite of anthropomorphic and zoomorphic references.

Antique Ceramic Storage Jar, Glazed Stoneware with Marine Adhesions, South China, circa 14th Century

These rare jars were found in the South China Seas off  the coast of Java.

About John Strusinski and Primary Source

John Strusinski has been a collector and dealer of Tribal and Asian Art for more than 40 years. After extensive travels throughout the Americas, Europe, Asia and Oceania, he set up base in Jogyakarta, Central Java in 1976. For many years he searched the Indonesian Archipelago for art from tribal sources and Hindu-Buddhist Court cultures.

Shrine Guardian Modang People, East Borneo, Circa 19th Century
Primary Source

Strusinski established Primary Source in 1989 as a gallery and warehouse in Los Angeles. His broad and eclectic inventory, including masks, sculptures, jewelry, ceramics, textiles, armaments, furniture and architectural elements from Indonesia, Southeast Asia, Africa, and Papua New Guinea is an important resource for some of the country’s most notable interior designers such as Martyn Lawrence Bullard, Waldo Fernandez, Trip Haenisch Mimi London, Rose Tarlow, and important collectors.

Strusinski is known for his in-depth references and curations, providing a cultural and historical context for every item that passes through his hands.

Many works of art from Primary Source can be found in major museums around the world, such as Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Dallas Museum of Fine Arts; The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; The Metropolitan Museum of Art; The National Gallery of Australia; Yale University Art Gallery; Asian Heritage Museum, Singapore; as well as in important private collections.

Primary Source is located at 4847 Jefferson Avenue in Los Angeles. It is open by appointment only. For more information, phone 323-732-6131 or visit

The San Francisco Tribal Art & Textile Art Show will take place at Fort Mason Center, located at the Landmark Building C, 2 Marina Boulevard, San Francisco. For more information, visit www.sanfranciscotribalandtextile






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