Inspired by the intertwined threads of woven art, Peter Chin’s creative process involved an investigation of cultural details from traditional and indigenous textile cultures in South East Asia and Mexico. Peter also commissioned writing from four eminent textile scholars – Hector Meneses from Oaxaca Mexico, Linda Susan McIntosh based in Luang Prabang Laos, Michael C. Howard in Vancouver and Jill Forshee based in California – as a way to “enhance the appreciation of Woven“.

The authors of the essays highlight details and techniques used to create textiles, and the meanings and metaphors embedded within the practice. The first essay, Human Threads – Sensing Life, is by Hector Meneses, the Museum Director at Museo Textil de Oaxaca. Meneses writes:

“Textiles inform us of relationships, whether these are among people, among trades, or among cultures. They also inform us about both public and private life. For the former, it is through them that we can better understand, among many other things, where and how we live, what resources are available to us…to explain the latter, one could simply say that textiles are our most faithful companions: since the moment we arrive on this planet until our departure, we live surrounded, wrapped, and sheltered by them.”

You can read the full essay, Human Threads – Sensing Life, and check back here for the entire collection of writing in the coming days.

Update! NEW essays posted!

From Hinggi to Muk and Thoughts on the Fate of Loincloths, Michael C. Howard

Michael C. Howard is a Professor in the School for International Studies at Simon Fraser University. He is editor of the Studies in the Material Cultures of Southeast Asia series of books that is published by White Lotus Press in Thailand, and author of numerous articles and books on the textiles of Southeast Asia

Essay, by Linda S. McIntosh, PhD

Linda S. McIntosh, PhD, is a researcher of Southeast Asian material culture with a focus on textiles produced in Mainland Southeast Asia and their roles in society. A Lao American, McIntosh grew up to the rythmic beatings of her Lao mother’s loom. Field research led her to collect data throughout Southeast Asia, including Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, Burma, and Indonesia. She has curated exhibitions internationally and has written numerous publications. Her latest book is a translation of a study of one minority group of Laos, the Tai Daeng.

DanceWorks presents Woven, choreographed by Peter Chin, from September 24–26 at the Harbourfront Centre Theatre. You can purchase tickets to Woven at the Harbourfront Centre Theatre Box Office or online.