CUT, STITCH & BRAID & the red carpet // upcycled textiles produced in collaboration with CHAMALiiN and the Pakistani community
Intensively partnering with a cross-section of communities in Bangkok, the artists responded to pieces produced inside women-led cottage industries to create the final series presented here. Modernization has changed how items are made, leading to a loss of culture in many communities, as hands are replaced by machines. The embroidery seen on the mats illustrates this paradigm shift. The chosen quotes are lifted from interviews with women artists that took place during Singh’s research and devlopment phase at the Taipei Artist Village in collaboration with the Taiwan Womens Association. Our partnership with Chamaliin has connected us to the Hmong women. With the aim to empower a vulnerable community of women in Bangkok through supporting safe, sustainable, and ethical livelihood opportunities. For these works we commissioned pieces from the Hmong women to be woven into the Red Carpet and surrounding works. The women have total creative control over who they choose to use their canvas to communicate who they are and how they feel.
The intention here was to address the pervasive gender inequality in Asian Pacific countries. As this remains a barrier to progress, justice and social stability, thus hindering development goals. By collaborating with women’s artist in the Asia Pacific area we aim to foster social bonds in the art world and beyond, including improved well-being, an enhanced sense of self and self-efficacy and economical gains for women artists.
The Red Carpet is a central symbol to elevate the world view of artwork made by women. This pays tribute to traditional roles passed down from generation to generation, from mother to daughter. As women bartered their expertise in skill with one another, decorative needlework became a valued commodity. The narrative of this work speaks to the beginning of Women’s Liberation through industry driven opportunity. Red Carpet was created by piecing together textiles produced by women from various time periods, countries and cultures, making a space for women to respond to their identities as artists and artisans.
These works are made using all up-cycled material to reflect the age-old process of breathing new life into well used objects. Both these works required a gesture from the audience,asking them to make a choice: whether or not to “walk over” women’s work. This simple decision was documented to inform future iterations of the work.