The Asia Society
1370 Southmore Blvd.
Houston, TX 77004
11:00 a.m. Friday, Nov. 8, 2013
Asia Society Texas Center continues its second year of programming with two unique exhibitions highlighting the creative labor of women textile makers from Southeast Asia.The exhibitions: Weavers’ Stories from Island Southeast Asia, organized by the Fowler Museum at UCLA and Between History and New Horizons: Photographs of Women, Work and Community in Laos, co-organized by the Texas Center and the Traditional Arts and Ethnology Centre, Luang Prabang, provide a look at the evolution of making textiles with words and photos capturing women’s daily struggles and achievements. The exhibitions run concurrently from November 7, 2013, through February 9, 2014.Weavers’ Stories from Island Southeast Asia, Organized by the Fowler Museum at UCLA
In Weavers’ Stories from Island Southeast Asia, 10 women from Indonesia, East Timor, Malaysia, and the Philippines tell their own stories through stunning cloths and videotaped oral histories. For these women, textile creation is a delicate balance between honoring tradition and adapting their craft for the 21st century.“Weavers’ Stories offers further proof that textile production is very much a contemporary practice,” said Sabrina Lynn Motley, senior director of programs and exhibitions for Asia Society Texas Center. “We hope that people walk away with a sense of the depth of these women’s inventiveness as well as their varied perspectives on life and the meaning of their creative labor.”Weavers’ Stories from Island Southeast Asia was curated by Roy W. Hamilton, who is the Senior Curator of Asian and Pacific Collections at the Fowler Museum at UCLA. Major support was provided by the Henry Luce Foundation and the R.L. Shep Endowment Fund of the Fowler Museum. Additional support was provided by the Asian Cultural Council, the Fowler Museum Textile Council and the National Commission for Culture and the Arts of the Republic of the Philippines.Between History and New Horizons: Photographs of Women, Work, and Community in Laos, Co-Organized by the Traditional Arts and Ethnology Centre (TAEC), Luang Prabang
Between History and New Horizons: Photographs of Women, Work, and Community in Laos, depicts moments in the lives of women from the Lao People’s Democratic Republic. Co-organized by the Traditional Arts and Ethnology Centre (TAEC) in Luang Prabang, the exhibition consists of both professional portraits and personal photographs and offers a window into the work and personal lives of rural women. For many, textile making has become a primary generator of household income as well as a way to preserve the cultural history of family and community. Still, this labor is but one aspect of a woman’s workday.Asia Society Texas Center is proud to partner with the only independent non-profit museum in Laos dedicated to the country’s ethnic peoples and their traditional arts. According TAEC’s co-founder Tara Gujadhur, “In addition to anchor photographs from TAEC’s own archives, the exhibition contains images produced by participants in “Stitching our Stories.” A PhotoForward project, its goal is to equip minority women with tools to document their own lives.” Gujadhur continues, “Laos is teeming with cultural diversity. While there is a rich history in textile production, it is rapidly and radically being altered by modern life. The exhibition reveals that the very meaning of labor, not to mention women’s role in their families and communities, is in flux.”Opening Program: Asia Society Night Market
To mark the opening of the exhibitions, Asia Society Texas Center will host a special night market inspired by the vibrant energy of a typical Asian street market. Asia Society Night Market will take place on November 7 from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm and will feature foods, crafts, and more.To date, participating food vendors include: Best of Filipiniana, Goro & Gun, Greenway Coffee, and Melange Creperie. The Community Cloth, She Has Hope, and Ten Thousand Villages, will sell hand-crafted, fair-trade goods made by girls and women recovering from lives of forced prostitution and human trafficking.