Over the course of decades of travel and living in "foreign" countries I've come to realize the value of communications other than verbal.
One does not need to be in another country to be in a foreign place...another thing I learned as a military brat living in thirteen different communities within my first eight years. One becomes an observer of others...and how they communicate. This survival tactic served me well for those times that I've lived outside the country in real foreign places. Places where, because of the deficiencies in my own verbal skills, signs and symbols were the only means of communication.
Within the main fabric are all manner of symbols: Michelangelo's drawing of man, clocks,stamps, inkwells, text is several languages, eyeglasses and automobiles. As an acknowledgement that "money also talks" I have stitched five yen pieces onto the surface, along with other shiny bits. As for the black fabric it also holds potent symbols within African communities. It's funereal cloth with Andinkra symbols of the Asante people of Ghana.