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The 5 Pandava Brothers of Mahabharata

Yudhistira (first son)

Bima (second son)

Arjuna (third son)

Nakula (fourth son)

Sadewa (fifth son)

Kunti (mother of the 1st three sons)

Abinmayu (Arjunas son)

Parikesit (Abinmayus son)


(Bimas son)





Sorowito (Bilung)





Semar (Punakawan)








Artisans Angkor was created in 1999 to help young people find work in their home villages, allowing them to practice their crafts while providing them with a vocation. It was created as part of a three-year project to integrate young artisans trained by the Chantiers-Ecoles de Formation Professionnelle - whose objective is to revive traditional craft skills (stone carving, wood carving, lacquering, gilding and silk processing). We place a strong emphasis on the authenticity of its products to the Khmer culture. In 2003, we became a limited company with minor public participation and are now completely self-financed. We have created over 1,000 jobs for both artisans (657) and non-craftsmen in rural Cambodia, by investing in new apprenticeships and skills creation via continuous training and setting up new village workshops. Thirteen workshops are currently operating in 12 villages in Siem Reap province, including silk, wood carving, stone carving and finishing workshops (polychromy, lacquering, gilding). Young apprentices aged 18 to 25 are selected from rural areas through skill and motivation tests, and undertake six to eight months of free training. They are trained in groups of 15-30 people, and receive a living allowance for the duration of their training. We contribute to the development of rural areas in Siem Reap province through the social, economic and professional advancement of the artisans, and pioneering a new social policy in Cambodia, guaranteeing levels of pay and social and medical welfare. The artisans have formed an association called Artisanat Khmer which has a 20% stake in the company, giving employees a voice in the decision making process. Art & Architecture To ensure order and harmony in the universe, Angkor's architects and sculptors created stone temples that symbolized the cosmic world and decorated them with wall carvings and sculptures of Hindu gods and the Buddha. Religious guidelines dictated that a basic temple layout include a central shrine, a courtyard, an enclosing wall, and a moat. More than 60 of these temple complexes survive in the Angkor region. In addition, several stone bridges and reservoirs built in the Angkor period are still in use. Many Cambodian public buildings, such as the Royal Palace in Phnom Penh, are decorated in the Khmer architectural style and use motifs such as the Garuda, a mythical bird in the Hindu religion.

After the devastation of culture in the Khmer Rouge era, the traditional arts and handicrafts of Cambodia are reviving. Notable among these traditional arts are textiles, silver work, basketry, woodcarving, stone sculpture, and painting. Artisans use cotton to weave the krama, a rectangular scarf made in colorful checks and stripes, and the Sampot, a skirt for women. Beautiful silk Sampots with elaborate, multicolored patterns, often entwined with gold or silver thread, are woven using the ikat technique, in which each individual thread is tied. Cambodia's long tradition of metal work nearly disappeared, but the French revived it in the early 20th century. Silversmiths produced popular items of the period, such as animalshaped boxes, intricately decorated, that were used to hold the ingredients of a preparation known as betel, which is chewed as a stimulant and tonic. FABRIC DESIGNS

Cambodia silk fabrics have survived more than a thousand years of history. The high quality motis and designs are still the same. Now, they use fabrics for different purposes and they refer to age, a festival celebration, or rank in society. The King and queen mostly use fabrics made from gold and silver metal threads. At present, the Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts make efforts to preserve this traditional art form and show the meaning and use of Khmer textiles such as Sampot Labauk, Paeleap, Onlunh, Sarong Sot, Choro Bab, Hol and Phamung. - Labauk This fabric is made of gold/metal yarn. It has a small flower and a bird figure on the foreground. The fabric is mainly woven in Phnom Srok and Kampong Speu. - Prae Leap This fabric has a white color but sometimes they dye a black color by the Makleu tree. The fabric has a flower design and it is mainly worn by rural women. - Onlunh This fabric has many stripes and colors but no motif. Old women mostly wear white or black fabrics with a traditional shirt (Aov Bompong Vaeng) during weddings, festivals or funerals. It is mainly worn by rich women who are already married. - Sarong Sot This sarong has many colours such as red, yellow, black, blue and white. Now they call them Sarong Por and Sarong Sor. Mostly rich women but sometimes also men wear it in their daily life. One can also find Sarong Sot at traditional dances such as Robam Kon Saeng Sae (love handkerchief dance or better known as the Cham dance), Robam Kangok Pailen (Peacok dance in Pailen), Robam Poe Tav dance (a woodcutters ritual) and a Miss World competition.

-Sa Robarb, Chor Robarb This fabric is woven with metal, gold or silver threads. The king and queen wear it at festivals or celebrations. One can also find it in the Preah Reach Trop dance, Apsara, Mony and Makala dance. Sometimes it is also worn at weddings. -Sung This fabric has a silver color motif on the edge. One can see this fabric at the Robam Ka Ngkok Pailen (the peacock dance in Pailen) and Robam Ken (Ken dance) along the Prek Lung channel. - Hol This Ikat has many kinds of designs. It is a difficult technique and it takes a lot of time to produce a Hol. One can divide Hol in three ways; Hol for man This Ikat is decorated by large pictures and designs such as Naga, Kom Pich, Angkor, Sovan Mayura, Reach Sei and Horng. Hol for women This fabric is decorated by small motifs such as Pha Krochab, Phka Phtom and Hol Pha Chung. Some hol is worn both by men and women such as hol Phka Mates and Phka Takol. hol use for religion ceremonies and a decoration for ceilings in Buddhist temples. One can find designs such as a bird, a temple, a buddha, a boat. A Hol can also cover the Kom Pie (buddhist books in ancient times) such as Hol Phka Takol, Phka Rung and Phkay Pruk. - Phamung In contemporary Cambodia people use Phamung instead of Hol at weddings or other ceremonies. Phamung comes from Siam language (Pha=Kronat, Mung=violet color). Khmer weaving however, is not a copy from Siam, because Cambodia already had a weaving culture before the Klung civilization. At this time, we still do not know what the word Phamung meant in that time. Phamung contains more than thirty colors such as red, blue, green, dark red, etc. These colors refer to certain days in the week; CULTURAL ICONS

Angkor Wat - the most famous Cambodian heritage site.

Buddhist nun at Angkor Wat, Siem Reap, Cambodia.

The classical tragic love story of Tum Teav

SCULPTURE Khmer sculpture refers to the stone sculpture of the Khmer Empire, which ruled a territory based on modern Cambodia, but rather larger, from the 9th to the 13th century. The most celebrated examples are found in Angkor, which served as the seat of the empire. Scene from Ramayana at Angkor.

Apsara carving at Angkor Wat.

Elegant roof carvings at Banteay Srei.


Lao arts and crafts. This was hanging at an Asian community center. It shows the many Lao ethnicity and fashion. The lady in the center is a great reminder for me to take good care of my traditional silk skirts.

Laos is hemmed in on all sides by countries with very strong cultural identities of their own, such as Thailand, Myanmar and China. Furthermore, a large segment of the population has roots in Thailand or Vietnam; it isnt really surprising, therefore, that Laos culture has been heavily influenced by the cultures of neighbouring countries- particularly Thailand and Vietnam. Most Laotian dances, like those of Thailand, are based on Indian Hindu epics; traditional handicrafts too are similar to those of Thailand and Vietnam. Religion, language and literature, lifestyles, traditions, even food- all are very similar to those of the surrounding lands, and much of this culture takes its essence from Buddhism and Hinduism. Festivals, architecture, arts, handicrafts, even performing arts all have some connection or the other to these religions. Most Laotians are friendly and accommodating people, but they do have some unwritten rules of conduct you would do well to observe, if only to avoid offending people. First of all, dress and act discreetly- wearing scanty clothing, showing affection in public, and shouting is considered extremely rude. Secondly, remember that a Laotians head is considered very `private, so to say- never touch anyone on the head. Similarly, feet are considered `low- never `point with your feet, or raise them above ground level. Its considered a sign of good breeding to show respect to everybody, especially to old people. And, of course, you must show respect to the religious shrines, idols and scriptures of the Buddhists. Shoes must be removed before entering a place of worship, and you must be well covered (no shorts or tank tops!). Never turn your back on an image of the Buddha (no matter how small) or do anything that might be equated with showing disrespect. Laos is known for its excellent folk arts- the countrys hill tribes, especially, are renowned for the beauty of their handicrafts - the quilts and embroideries of the Hmong are famous worldwide. Textiles are among the specialties of the Laotians- exquisite weaves in silk and cotton, as well as embroideries, are produced all over the country, and are available both as bolts of cloth and as readymade garments, bags, quilts and wall hangings. The other specialty is metalwork and jewellery- Laos goldsmiths and silversmiths craft some of the most beautiful jewellery in South Asia. Other beautiful arts and crafts of the country include woodcarving, basketry and carved ivory.

FABRIC DESIGNS Conserving Nature and Preserving an Art Form The silk used in our products is raised in the villages, on mulberry leaves grown by the farmers. The villagers reel the silk from several cocoons at one time to create a continuous silk thread. Variables such as where on the cocoon the silk comes from and different twists as it is being reeled, give the silk different qualities. The silk is then hand dyed using colors extracted from sustainably harvested natural dyes in plants and animals. Hand dyeing is a difficult art and colors can vary slightly from one dye lot to the next depending on such variables as the time of year. Families often guarded their dye recipes. PADETC has a master dyer to aid the villagers and document traditional dye recipes. Weaving, for daily use and for rituals, has been an integral part of life and culture in Laos for centuries. Most Lao village women learned the art of weaving and the traditional designs from their mothers when they were little girls. Even now, every village home has a loom. The looms, with unique Lao weaving implements, and dye pots were taken into caves when the people fled, and thus survived even during wars and migrations. There can be special patterns and colors for ceremonies, festivals and textiles used in daily life. Motifs represent the flora and fauna, mythical and real creatures and the beliefs of the people. The Lao are very skilled in many of the weaving traditions of Southeast Asia, using
difficult and complex techniques sometimes in the same piece.

Handcrafted Silk Dyeing and Weaving These scarves feature the weaving traditions of the Lao women. Sulaboul scarves are comprised of bands of thick and thin silk that come from the outside layer of the cocoon and when woven together, playfully catch the sun. The silk in the ikat scarves is hand dyed with the design in mind, prior to being woven. The design is revealed as the weaving progresses. The handcrafted nature of the scarves adds to its unique qualities. Subtle variations in color may occur, depending on season and availability of the plant dye. Each should be considered a unique work of traditional art. All the scarves are dyed in rich, natural dyes and look good on both men and women or on a table as the centerpiece.



The earliest Buddha images found within the territory of present-day Laos are those of the Mon and Khmer kingdoms of the first millennium CE. Dvaravati-style Mon Buddha images may still be seen today carved into the rock face at Vangxang, north of Vientiane, and several Mon and Khmer Buddha sculptures recovered from the central and southern provinces have found their way into museums, the most noteworthy being those housed at Ho Phra Keo in Vientiane. According to legend, Laos most famous Buddha image - the sacred pha bang - was originally cast in Sri Lanka, but its typically post-Bayon Khmer features betray its real origins. The design of the earliest indigenous Buddha images dating from the period 13531500 is heavily influenced by that of the pha bang, but by the early 16th century a distinctive Lao style had begun to develop. From the reign of King Wisunarath (1501-1520), Lao Buddha images began to display a characteristic beak-like nose, extended earlobes, tightly-curled hair, and long hands and fingers. At this time too there also appeared two mudras (gestures) that are found only in Lao Buddhist sculpture - Calling for Rain (in which the Buddha stands with both arms held stiffly at the side of the body, fingers pointing downwards) and Contemplating the Tree of Enlightenment (in which the Buddha stands with hands crossed at the wrist in front of the body). The period from 1500-1695 is generally regarded as the golden age of the La o Buddha image, and many magnificent examples of religious sculptural art from this period may still be seen today in Ho Phra Keo, Wat Sisakhet and the Luang Prabang National Museum. However, with the demise of Lane Xang and the growth of Siamese influence in the region during the 18th century, Lao sculptors fell increasingly under the influence of the contemporaneous Ayutthaya and Bangkok (Rattanakosin) styles. By the French colonial period decline had set in, and Buddha images were cast less and less frequently. The Laos Buddha sculpture uses a variety of mediums, including bronze, wood, gold and silver and precious stones. Of these, bronze is by far the most common and was used to create many important Buddha statues, including the colossal images at Wat Manorom in Luang Prabang (14th century) and at Wat Ong Tu and Wat Chanthaburi (Wat Chan) in Vientiane (16th century). Smaller images were often cast in gold, silver or precious stone, while wood and ceramics were popular for the tiny, votive images found in cloisters or caves.

LAOS SCULPTURE The most impressive sculptures, unique to Laos, date from the 16 th-18th centuries. A distinctive style can be seen in certain standing Buddha images. This is the "Calling for rain" posture with hands held outwards at the sides in a symmetrical fashion. An old Laotian custom at the end of the dry season has been to fire bamboo rockets into the sky in a plea for rain; this Buddha image also symbolises upward flight.

Dusty wooden Buddhas in the "Calling for rain" posture in the oldest temple in Luang Prabang, Laos - Wat
Wisunalat and gold leaf covered wooden Buddhas in the main city temple of Wat Xieng Thong, Laos.

Pak Ou Caves - Laos Pak Ou

Pak Ou caves in Laos contain 2,500 Buddha

images made from wood and gold. Some are over 300 years old.

There are other caves in total darkness with nearly 2,000 more carvings.

Buddha Park - Laos Buddha Park The Buddha Park is near Vientiane, Laos. This is a huge sculpture garden designed and built by a priest which was started in 1958 and continues today. The concrete sculptures depict almost all Buddhist and Hindu deities and are dominated by a colossal reclining Buddha.

Marble Buddha and gold leaf covered sculptures of monks at Wat Saen, Laos.

Broken and dusty Buddha statues in an alcove in Wat Si Saket in Vientiane. They were destroyed in the 1828 Siam - Lao War.


Flower garland featuring Jasmine. Thailand has a rich history and an equally rich art, craft and cultural heritage dating back hundreds of years. There have been various external influences to Thai art and culture including Asian and Western influence and these outside influences have become just a part of the fabric that makes Thailand what it is today. Thai religious art is mostly defined in periods of time dating back to before the actual formation of the state we know as Thailand today and thereafter. The various styles or designs may have been a result of the patronage of the leading class or ruling capital during the period. The notable periods which overlap in earlier times due to various regional centres of power are usually reported as the Dharavati period (Nakhon Pathom 7th to 11th centuries); Srivijaya (Nakhon Sri Thamarat 7th to 13th centuries); Khmer (Angkor 9th to 11th centuries); Lanna (Chiang Saen 11th to 13th centuries); Sukothai (13th to 15th centuries); Ayuthaya (14th to 18th centuries) and Ratanakosin or Bangkok from 18th century until today.

Traditional Chicken Coop.

Cane Weaving

Visitors to Thailand will witness a country of contrasts where modern and ancient, built and natural all vie for prominence. One thing is for sure, the Thai artistic and cultural style will be evident to enhance the scene whatever it may

be. Modern hotels with state of the art facilities will be enhanced with Thai pieces whether they are drawn, painted, photographed, sculptured, woven or installed. Urban environments with their modern built environments often unsightly will be enhanced by the occasional golden and mirror inlaid sparkling temple, sprouting amid the rooftops. The curved gables and carved deities reflecting an age old custom passed down from artisan to artisan. Temples are a showcase of various forms of art from painted murals on doors and walls, to sculptured Buddha images in different poses depicting the attitudes attributed to the Buddha. Visitors to the modern day Thailand will find a thriving art and craft scene where ancient methods are being maintained beside more modern aspects and often in combination with modern ideas or techniques. The incredible creativity of the modern Thai artisan can easily be witnessed during a trip to Bangkoks famed weekend market called Chatuchak, where visitors will be amazed at the immense selection of art and craft on sale. Methods passed from previous generations meet current ideas in an endless display of creative endeavour where the dollar is patron.

Thai Umbrellas.

In perhaps every province of Thailand there will be districts specializing in some form of art or craft. But one Province stands alone for its reputation as the art and craft capital of Thailand. Chiang Mai The Rose of the North is nestled in a fertile valley in Thailands verdant Northern region and is home to a rich variety of art and crafts. Tourists from around the world visit Chiang Mai often for the sole purpose of visiting the factories or workshops where artisans create their wares. There is an amazing choice of silk, silver, ceramic, cotton, wood, natural fibre, bronze and laquerware produced by artists or artisans using techniques both young and old. Chiang Mai is also home to many old and famous temples where excellent examples of Buddhist art may be viewed. It is truly the centre of the world of Thai art and crafts.

Thai Puppets.

THAI FABRIC DESIGNS Traditional Thai fabric designs, not silk though. Such Thai fabrics are worn by the villagers in the northern provinces of Thailand. Notice how the designs are bright colored but, seem to have a very earthy appearance. In the ancient days, various natural sources like mud, fruits and even leaves were used to produce colors, that dyed fabric. These traditional Thai fabric designs show the horizontal running designs, something that can be seen in many Asian countries.

THAI CULTURAL ICONS AND SCULPTURE A typical design for a Thailand, this temple has been recently constructed and is situated around 70km from Bangkok city. The details in this architecture are very intricate and clearly influenced by Thai customs and religion. In most cases, various parts of the temple included stone carvings, wood carvings etc are brought from different provinces and assembled together at the temple site.

This is a photograph of traditional Thai ceramcis called 'benjarong'. The paintings on these Thai ceramic designs are typical and need to be done completely by hand. Benjarong pottery has it's roots in the royal palaces of the country. Today, you can find many places offering dazzling ceramic vases, cups, plates and even entire tea or dinner sets.

A stupendous display of artistic skills, this is not an odrinary wood carving. Several craftsmen worked for many months to carve the traditional design on the bark of a tree. The bark is around 10 feet tall and the design goes all around it. It is quite likely that the wood used to do the carving came from Burma. The greenish piece of stone on the bottom right is a huge piece of jade.

The 'hong' board pronounced like 'hoang' is a special bird that finds place in Thai mythology. The bird is depicted on some lamposts and has even been made into exquisite gold or silver pendants. This image shows the hong bird made with folded and assembled leaves. Seen at an exhibition organized to promote the sale of Thai products made in villages across the country.

Traditional Thai ceramic designs are done in the 'benjarong' style and the above urns and jars do not have the color of benjarong. While the designs on these ceramic pieces are distinctly Thai, the presentation in just two or three colors has been influenced (recently) by the Chinese ceramic craft. The technic used to produced these ceramics will not be very different from those used to produce benjarong ceramics.

VIETNAM ARTS AND CRAFTS Vietnamese art has a long and rich history, the earliest examples of which date back as far as the Stone Age around 8,000 BCE. With the millennium of Chinese domination starting in the 2nd century BC, Vietnamese art undoubtedly absorbed many Chinese influences, which would continue even following independence from China in the 10th century AD. However, Vietnamese art has always retained many distinctively Vietnamese characteristics. By the 19th century, the influence of French art took hold in Vietnam, having a large hand in the birth of modern Vietnamese art.

Terracotta pieces used to imprint decoration patterns on cloth

Fourth Chinese domination and L Dynasty

Pieces of wooden art from 17th and 18th century

The fourth Chinese domination of Vietnam was quite short-lived, lasting only about 2 decades, yet it was also seen as the harshest domination. Many if not most classical Vietnamese books were burnt, and thus much documentation of the era of independence lost. It is said that a more extreme than-ever process of sinicization was enforced, and countless Vietnamese resources and goods were removed and taken to China. Consequently, much of the art in this period and even after liberation by the L Dynasty was heavily influenced by the Ming dynasty's art. Silk painting Vietnamese silk painting is one of the most popular forms of art in Vietnam, favored for the mystical atmosphere that can be achieved with the medium. During the 19th and 20th centuries, French influence was absorbed into Vietnamese art and the liberal and modern use of color especially began to differentiate Vietnamese silk paintings from their Chinese or

Japanese counterpartsVietnamese silk paintings typically showcase the countryside, landscapes, pagodas, historical events or scenes of daily life. Woodblock prints A folk art with a long history in Vietnam, Vietnamese woodblock prints have reached a level of popularity outside of VietnamOrganic materials are used to make the paint, which is applied to wood and pressed on paper. The process is repeated with different colors.

VIETNAMISE FABRIC DESIGN Golden Thread Silks was born in Vietnam, and we have a passion for its fabric, food and culture. Many of our Vietnamese fabrics are jacquards from Ha Dong, the center of weaving and sericulture (silk worm production) for centuries. Old jacquard looms are still used, weaving patterns containing centuries-old symbols and characters. Our Vietnamese fabric ranges from our exquisite shantung taffeta to our sturdy Bengaline weave. Our latest find is ebony satin, a lustrous silk handwoven in southern Vietnam and naturally dyed using ebony fruit pods. This all-natural fabric has a soft and supple hand. The fabric dates back over a century, but knowledge of its production was all but lost during the war. Weaving of ebony satin was only recently revitalized by the designer Vo Viet Chung. We are pleased to offer this beautiful fabric, an important piece of Vietnam's silk weaving history.


Cham Sculpture

Imperial Palace

Traditional Sculpture

MALAYSIA ARTS AND CRAFTS Drama One of Malaysias most prominent art forms is mak yong, a traditional form of Malay drama in which the performers sing, dance and act out heroic legends about sultans and princesses. These performances are backed by Gamelan orchestras; with musicians playing mainly metal percussion instruments including gongs, xylophones and drums. Mak yong is considered the most authentic and representative of Malay performing arts because it is mostly untouched by external sources. Although most traditional Malay dances were influenced by India, Java and other parts of South East Asia, mak yongs singing and musical repertoire is unique. A performance begins by paying respect to the spirits with an offering, followed by dancing, acting and improvised dialogues. Puppet shows Another popular attraction is Wayang Kulit, a traditional form of theatre using puppets and shadows to relate epic tales about the Ramayana. The shadow play is an old cultural entertainment using shadows cast by intricately carved puppets to relay mythical parables of good versus evil. The puppets are made of cow leather(kulit) that have been stretched and dried. The patterns are then carved; hand painted and held on banana stems. Good characters will appear on the right side of the stage and evil characters on the left. Behind the screen, backlit by a flickering oil lamp, the dalang (puppet master) will weave his tale, bringing to live the play. Moral values are easier to absorb in the form of parables, which is why wayang kulit has flourished. Garland Making Also known as Bunga Malai, garland making is an integral part of the cultural heritage of Malaysian Indians and these finished products are used in religious occasions, such as weddings, moving home, or welcoming important guests. Flowers, holy basil, and the leaves of the margosa or mango tree are strung together to form a malai or garland. They are done in different styles to suit each particular occasion.

MALAYSIA FABRIC DESIGN Batik Malaysian batik is a textile art especially prevalent on the east coast of the country. The method of Malaysian batik production is quite different from that of Indonesian Javanese batik as the patterns are larger and simpler and the colours tend to be lighter and more vibrant than the deep hues of Javanese batik. The most popular motifs are leaves and flowers. Malaysian batik depicting humans or animals are rare because Islam norms forbid animal images as decoration. However, the butterfly theme is a common exception. In line with the 1Malaysia concept, the Malaysian government endorsed Malaysian batik as a national dress and they encouraged home designers to create new batik designs which reflect the 1Malaysia concept.

Songkit Fabric

MALAYSIA CULTURAL ICONS The Wayang Kulit is a traditional theatre form that brings together the playfulness of a puppet show, and the elusive quality and charming simplicity of a shadow play. Its origin remains a mystery, though it appears to have a strong Javanese and Hindu influence. Today, it is spread out, in various forms and guises, across Asia from Turkey and China to Indonesia and of course, Malaysia. Here, it is most popular in the East Coast of Peninsular Malaysia, particularly in Kelantan, the heartland of Wayang Kulit, where it took root more than 250 years ago. Today, however, urbanisation and modern entertainment have led to a decline in its popularity.


Hindu Deity Sculpture

Buddhist Temple Garden Sculpture


Silver Smiting is the one of the best known handicrafts in Brunei, the ancient one, having been in existence in the country for centuries. According to stories the early silversmiths began their art around Kampung Pandai Mas (Goldsmiths' Village), one of the villages in Kampong Ayer (Water Village) where several other age-old crafts such as gold, copper, brass and bronze works, cloth-weaving, woodworking and cannon as well as other weapon-making were also practiced. Records have shown that these handicrafts were already flourishing at the height of the Brunei Empire in the 15th century and the first half of the 16th century.


Kain Tenunan the fabled cloth of Gold Brocade is designed with intricate detail, hand woven row by row with golden

threads, worn as sarong during ceremonial occasion for centuries. Brunei Darussalam in particular is proud of her tradition in this ancient craft and produces some of the finest examples of woven material to be seen anywhere in the world. It is the skill that is passed through generation to generation; maybe it is the inherent patience and love of fine workmanship which Bruneians possess to produce such examples of exquisite beauty. Whatever the reason there s no doubt that to be owner of such gown or sarong is to be treasured and savored for life. This is well examplified. If a King is to be crowned what will he is wearing? If a man and woman decide to marry what will they both wear on this most important occasion? Both royalty and commoner alike will be proud to adorn their very best for such an occasion. Naturally the silver and golden thread - man's most expensive materials - will constitute a large part of looking and feeling good for these auspicious events.

Originated within the confines of Kampung Ayer.Apart from the indigenous Borneo tribes and nomadic hunters, the majority of Brunei's population lived on the waterfront. It was in their homes that the women. They probably exchanged patters and equipment, helped each other when difficulties arose and generally operated within a tightly knit cooperative. It was from this beginning that the art flourished and it is not difficult to see where the inspiration for the designs came from. Living in harmony with their natural beautiful surroundings and their deep faith in Islam inspired many of the designs, which have survived to this day. Thus the popular creations of yesteryears, incorporating nature's abundant source of idea such as leaves, local flowers as well as Islamic patterns, make up the majority of designs one can see today. The finished standard piece of cloth measures about 2.2 meters by 0.8 meters and can take anything from 10 to 15 days and sometimes even months to finish depending on the intricacy of the design and the speed at which the woman works.

BRUNEI CULTURAL ICONS AND SCULPTURE "The World of ASEAN" is the title of Brunei Darussalam's sculpture by 42 year old Mr Haji Marsidi Haji Akip, whose concept is: "the idea was built around the formation of ASEAN. There was a country represented by the square shape and the idea to form an organisation by regional grouping of neighbouring countries. The organisation gradually spreads in the region and developed into ASEAN. The differences in direction (inward and outward) of every unit in the structure shows the internal diversity of political, cultural, social, economic and various aspects of life of each member country in ASEAN. The whole arrangements of the units were designed in such a way so that maximum aesthetic values can be attained. The structure has been arranged in a semi circle shape to show various stages of the growth of ASEAN".

Philippines - Brunei Entelechy Brunei Entelechy is the title of the Philippines sculptor by a 53 year old sculptor, painter and art jeweller named Mr Eduardo Castrillo, whose concept is: "in the artist-sculptor's characteristic style of abstract expressionism, this free standing environmental (public art) sculpture faces the sunrise and the Royal Palace as in a gesture of tribute. The motf of the Muslim crescent moon is adapted to signify the value of tradition, and then this motif is structurally extended into a continuum of swirling forms that assume the symbolism of atomic energy which is in turn evocative of the impetus of modern development. Finally the the overall composition into a unified whole bespeaks the harmony of a nation among nations. Thus the sculpture is a symbolic interpretation of Brunei entellechy (or the realized state of potentialities tha t is Brunei's in the context of ASEAN.

EAST TIMOR Arts and Crafts East Timor is rich in arts and crafts of all kinds including the traditional weaving of cloth know as Tais. Contemporary arts are on display at the Arte Moris Cultural Centre in Dili. Traditional East Timorese houses have many features from animist belief. In traditional Timorese society, the shape and structure of a building represents things like strength and balance and pays homage to nature, the environment, animals and to the ancestors, all of which are essential to life itself.


Babadok bot culture

Old East timor ancestor

INDONESIA ARTS AND CRAFTS Art Like many other elements of Indonesian life, art has been heavily influenced by religious beliefs in the country. Even though most of the people in Indonesia are now Muslim, a strong Buddhist and Hindu influence can be seen in many of the arts. Indonesian art covers a wide variety of work but some of the most popular arts are dance, music and wayang puppetry. Wayang Wayang puppet shows are one of the most popular art forms in Indonesia. There are two different kinds of puppet, wayang kulit (wah-yahng koo-lit) and wayang golek(wah-yahng gohlek). Wayang kulit puppets are flat and made of leather. Wayang golek puppets are carved from wood. While the puppets are highly decorated, they're only used as shadow puppets. This means that most of the audience watches shadows that are cast onto a white screen. Some people sit behind the screen so that they can see the puppets and the puppeteer. Wayang shows usually tell traditional stories, many of which are based on the Hindu epic stories. Modern shows incorporate a mixture of many religious beliefs and often include hidden comments about important events and people today. Crafts Crafts form a major part of Indonesian life, especially in rural areas. Most Indonesian children start learning a craft from a very young age and many are very skilled by the time they are twelve years old. Different regions specialise in different types of craft work. These works can include carving, weaving and dyeing. Carving Traditional carving is very popular on Bali where wood, bone, stone and horn are all turned in detailed creations. Some carvings are representations of animals, others follow careful patterns. Almost all carvings are designed to serve some practical use as well as look good.

INDONESIAN FABRIC DESIGN Weaving Ikat (ee-kaht) is a special type of cloth that is made mostly in the Nasi Tenggara(Na-see teng-gar-a) province of Indonesia. Ikat is made using threads that are dyed with natural colours and then woven together according to an elaborate pattern. There are different patterns for different regions and sometimes even families. While ikat is cloth made for clothing, some of the best pieces are bought and hung in art galleries. They can be worth a lot of money. A single piece of ikat will sometimes take over a year to make.

Dyeing Batik (bah-teek) cloth was originally made on the island of Java. It is also now made in many other parts of Indonesia. Batik is made using a piece of white, cotton cloth which is then carefully covered in a pattern of wax. Both sides of the cloth must be covered with a matching pattern. This is because once the pattern is finished the whole cloth is put into a dye. The colour of the dye seeps into the cloth except for the parts that are sealed with wax. Once the dye has set, the cloth is boiled to remove the wax from it, the wax floats to the top and can be used again. The cloth now has a white pattern and a coloured section, and the batik artist will next trace another wax pattern over the cloth and dye it again in a different colour. This process is repeated many times until the pattern is complete.

Batik cloth is used to make sarongs and special shirts that are worn on formal occasions by Indonesian men. Like ikat, batik can be very valuable.


Burubudor Temple


Philippine Ceramics

The bay-ong is a hand-woven traditional bag of the Hanunuo Mangyans, made of buri (palm leaf). The pakudos design, once used to ward off evil spirits, is now a symbol of the Hanunuo Mangyans, and is commonly seen on their bags, clothing and accessories. Minus the traditional string strap, the bayong's unique design and durability make it an ideal container for tissues, flower pots or just about anything.


Philippine weaving involves many threads being measured, cut, and mounted on a wooden platform. The threads are dyed and weaved on a loom. Before Spanish colonization, native Filipinos weaved using fibers from abaca, pineapple, cotton, and bark cloth. Textiles, clothes, rugs, and hats were weaved. Baskets were also weaved and used as vessels of transport and storage, and for hunting. These baskets were used to transport grain, store food, and catching fish. They also used

weaving to make just about all of the clothing that was worn. They weaved rugs that they used for quilts and bedding. The quality of the quilt/bedding was based on how soft, how tight together, and the clean pattern. The patterns were usually thick stripes with different colors and with a nice pattern. However, during Spanish colonization, Filipinos used fabric called nipis to weave white clothing. These were weaved with decorative, flower designs.

Antique Pinya Barong The sheer pineapple fiber cloth, or pinya is the finest of all the handwoven fabrics of the Philippines. Like the jusi, it is also the choice fabric for the Barong Tagalog. Similarly, it is also embroidered with intricate designs. The fiber is derived from wild pineapple plant of Aklan province where most of the pinya fiber in the Philippines is woven. More recently, mixture of silk and pinya (the so called 'pinya-seda') has appeared in the market.

CULTURAL ICONS In the Philippines, a large number of popular images or icons crop up when the word "Filipino" is mentioned. Consider Banaue rice terraces; sampaguita; tinikling; Philippine eagle; vinta; mango (green and ripe); torogan; Dr. Jose Rizal; adobo; salakot; Mt. Mayon; Barong Tagalog; sungka; Boracay; lechon; carabao; nipa hut; balut; sinigang; Christmas lantern or parol; Dolphy; Nora Aunor; San Miguel beer; Baguio; patis or fish sauce; bagoong or fish paste; Lea Salonga; Taal Lake; Manila Bay sunset; halo-halo and many more. In her latest Filipiniana book by Visitacion "Chit" dela Torre, CULTURAL ICONS OF THE PHILIPPINES, these cultural icons are seen in a new light even as they distill the best in the Filipino.


Bonifacio Scuplture

Allegorical Harpoon


Performing arts Over the last ten years, there has been an emergence of several visual and performing arts groups in Singapore with local and international companies offering both traditional as well as modern performances. There are several well established arts groups, which include the Singapore Symphony Orchestra, Singapore Chinese Orchestra, Singapore Dance Theatre, Singapore Lyric Opera, Singapore Repertory Theatre and Theatre Works. The annual Singapore Arts Festival has become extremely popular and allows international and local artists to perform in a wide variety of events including music, dance and theatre. Below are some of the most popular traditional performing arts in Singapore: Chinese Lion Dance The Chinese in Singapore believe that the lion brings forth good fortune. The lion dance is usually performed on occasions such as the opening of buildings and during the Chinese New Year festival. Bangsawan This is form of Malay opera that usually depicts Malay myths or tales of love and treachery. Bharatanatyam This old classical dance originates from India and is a combination of music, expression and rhythm accompanied by graceful and statuesque poses. Wayang Chinese Opera This is a traditional Chinese art form involving various performing art types such as singing, acrobatics, martial arts and singing. Visual Arts The visual arts scene has been active in Singapore since the colonial days when well known European artists visited the area to record and paint the development of the country. In 1976, the establishment of the Art Gallery in the National Museum gave a major boost to the Singaporean visual arts by giving local artists the opportunity to exhibit their work. Within the last few decades, the visual arts scene in Singapore has experienced remarkable growth and advancement and in 1995 the Singaporean Art Museum was founded exclusively for visual arts. Now there are many art galleries within Singapore showcasing emerging local talent.

The usual themes of Singaporean visual arts are abstracts, human figures, landscapes, portraits, still life, urban scenes and village scenes. Some of the best known artists are Tan Swie Hian, Liu Kang, Georgette Chen, Francis Ng and Heman Chong.


Singapore Girl Batik


Cheerful Bronze

Bird Scuplture