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Sunday, January 18, 2009

Habi: Sustaining Traditional Textiles of the ASEAN

From February 1 to 3, the Museum Foundation of the Philippines and the National Museum of the Philippine People will host a series of talks and demonstrations on traditional Southeast Asian textiles. Specialists and practitioners from four continents will speak on the successes and challenges that face the manufacture, use, and distribution of natural fabrics. Through site visits, the symposium participants will see first-hand the realities of surviving as professional weavers and how some of our best practitioners fulfill orders for the urban market. Outstanding fabrics like piña, hablon, abel, sinamay, and t'nalak that make our country's production unique will be on show and on sale. Philippine representatives will speak on four topics: shared textile traditions in Southeast Asia; piña weaving in an underserved community; and symbols, meaning, and power in local wear today. Other ASEAN presenters will speak on, among other issues, how their communities have addressed textile preservation and sustainability. Together we hope to find useful solutions to common concerns.

In addition, the National Museum will (1) mount T/ISSUE, a textile exhibition curated by Marian Pastor Roces; the Museum Foundation will (2) organize Market Encounter where textile merchants from Abra to Bali will showcase and sell their products; and (3) present Habi: Weaving the Fabric of Life, a special evening featuring designers who have innovated and integrated local fabrics into their creations: Patrice Ramos Diaz, Rhett Eala, Lulu Tan Gan, Randy Ortiz, and Cary Santiago. In addition, the symposium will host the batik designs of Iwan Tirta, one of the most established Indonesian designers, and Suraya Shaari, a young, multi-awarded Malaysian designer.

Looking forward to seeing you at the National Museum February 1-3. Do register now (http://aseantextile and join the Museum Foundation and the National Museum in supporting some our greatest cultural assets: our weavers and our weaving!

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