Mnemonikos: Art of Memory in Contemporary Textiles

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“Mnemonikos” in Greek means “of memory” or “remembering”.

 

Different textiles worn throughout the world reflect the history, the status, the situation and the living condition of peoples in a particular place at a particular time.


In Bangkok, a textile exhibition is being held to examine a wide range of artistic expression through various media techniques, such as dyeing, painting, weaving, stitching, printing, laser etching, heat transfer and vacuum coating of metal onto fabric.

Krittiya Kaweewong, director of the Jim Thompson Art Center, said the past, the present and the future are related. Not only is old fabric at the exhibition for display, it is also there as a memory.

The works of 29 artists from 11 countries are being showcased in many aspects, reflecting the artists’ memoirs through the use of fabric, sometimes with an unusual definition.

For example, the delicate work of Swiss artist Mascha Mioni was beautifully created on display. About 5,000 used teabags were woven to make an impressive evening gown called “Rooibos Teabag Dress”.

Meanwhile, many pieces were created by Thai artists, for example, one by Hatairat Maneerat who applied used cotton fabric and silk, weaving them with traditional implements, crafting all the materials into the form of a stupa, or ‘chedi’, to reflect traditional Thai Buddhist culture and restoring the value of the old items in the new form.

“I picked used household appliances, clothing or other items that are no longer of use, or some compared them as ‘dead’, to be re-created and put a new value to them through the form of a chedi”, said Hatairat.

For other pieces of work at the exhibition, the artists reflect personal emotions, social and environmental awareness, cultural values, and technological innovation into their art pieces. The artists’ enthusiasm for tangible and dimensional possibilities integrated in cloth, along with their fascination with the idea that cloth holds the memory of its use or the action performed on it are well connected.

The Mnemonikos: Art of Memory in Contemporary Textiles exhibition is being held at Bangkok’s Jim Thompson House through February 22, 2014. (MCOT online news)