- Maybank Foundation launches first ever art exhibition by weavers and artists from across ASEAN
Maybank Foundation, the CR arm of the Maybank Group today launched the first ever inaugural ‘Maybank Women Eco Weavers Live Exhibition’ at Balai Seni Maybank in Kuala Lumpur. The exhibition features collaborative works from two artists from Indonesia and Malaysia and weavers from Laos, Indonesia and Cambodia.
The exhibition which runs until 26 October 2018 showcases finished woven produced art which were inspired by sketches made by visual artists Lugas Syllabus from Indonesia and Shahrul Jamili Miskon from Malaysia, who found their inspiration from observing the art of weaving by women weavers from Laos, Indonesia and Cambodia.
The exhibition, which is the first-of-its-kind in Malaysia, showcases on how visuals arts created from sketches can be represented into woven art designs.
An initiative by Maybank Foundation, the CSR arm of the Maybank Group under its Balai Seni Art Series, the event is aimed at supporting the Group’s ongoing social mission to sustain and acknowledge the distinctive and creative efforts of the artists and women weavers.
The event was officially launched by Puan Fauziah Hisham, Board Member of Maybank. Also present at the launch were Shahril Azuar Jimin, CEO of Maybank Foundation, and members of the Board of Trustees of Maybank Foundation as well as art enthusiasts.
Shahril said that the launch of the exhibition sends out a strong message that the unification between visual arts and the art of weaving can give birth to a new art form.
“Today’s exhibition is unlike any other. For the first time ever, we showcase a combination of contemporary arts infused with the techniques of silk weaving. This initiative has greatly benefitted two contrasting genres, allowing them to test their skills to a whole new level in creating art pieces which have never been done before.”
“Our Women Eco-Weavers exhibition is not just about bringing beneficiaries and artists together but it is also an opportunity to meet and share experiences, knowledge, methods, ideas and as well as designs for the benefit of the textile weaving industry of ASEAN and the empowerment of the weavers in the region.”
“This is also in line with our mission to humanise financial services and to support talents from across the region in their quest to reach greater heights of success,” said Shahril.
Prior to the exhibition, the two artists were given the opportunity to travel to countries such as Indonesia and Cambodia for two weeks, to observe and be inspired in sketching their art based on their interactions and observations of the weavers from those countries. The artists’ final sketches were then transformed into woven products by skilled weavers.
Malaysian artist, Shahrul Jamili Miskon who travelled to meet with weavers in Padang Indonesia said, “I met with three groups of weavers from the Maybank Eco-Weavers Programme, as well as one independent group. The engagement was quite holistic. I was introduced to the whole ecosystem of the weaving industries in Sawahlunto, the structure of the operations, the supplies and preparation of raw materials, weaving techniques, the marketing aspects, as well as their challenges and aspirations,”
“There were some paradoxes in my process of thought. With the excitement of the new medium, I thought of developing the design motifs into something that was totally different for the weavers.”
Indonesian artist, Lugas Syllabus who was in Cambodia said, “I always try to put meaning into my works. I found that people who engage in weaving traditions often use symbols to describe something. It is a very nice experience to read their symbols, and as an artist, I learn to describe modern times through these symbols, and in the weaving as well. There is so much meaning in it.”
“I made a total of three designs. The first one was a traditional motif inspired by my time and experiences in the village within Takèo Province. For the second design, I tried to connect my (Sumatran) culture with the Cambodian culture and for the third design, I used my own signature style to represent contemporary art, hence it looks more like a painting.”
At the exhibition, visitors will also have the opportunity to experience weaving demonstrations, take part in a ‘hands on’ weaving tutorial as well as gain knowledge on the art of weaving by commissioned artists.
The exhibition is curated by renowned curator, Khairudin Hori of Chan & Hori Gallery from Singapore.
The Maybank Women Eco-Weavers programme which is one of Maybank Foundation’s flagship programmes, is actively running in three countries: Cambodia, Indonesia and Laos. The programme continues to gain traction and reach, and is recognised at the ASEAN level as a programme that promotes textiles globally in a sustainable manner, whilst promoting economic independence and financial inclusion for women weavers across the ASEAN region.