A day after landing safely in Cambodia, the family and I were offered a helicopter ride over the Town of Angkor. The original capital of Cambodia. I have always loved aerial views of the earth, and experiencing it for myself rather than out of a book was a real treat. Of course, I’ve seen aerial views from a plane and maybe it was the great scenery that made it so much better, but It felt different, more exciting. As if only I could capture this amazing man made yet natural view. The idea of travelling the world and finding my own inspirations rather than from the web; gives me an enormous wave of adrenaline, excitement, and anticipation to get home and replicate it in an art form. Maybe that’s what I’ll jump into after university, travel the world to find new patterns, colours, and inspiration, who knows. Anyways, a helicopter…that’s pretty sick in itself!
The last stop of our Asia tour took us to Angkor in Cambodia. The majority of our mornings were spent visiting ancient temples from the 9th and 12th century that was re-discovered around the 19th century. The architecture and stone walls were simply breathtaking. Beautifully detailed carvings, slowly reclaimed by nature told stories at every turn, drawing me more and more into the history and culture of Angkor. The layout of the stones, the growing ivy, the natural decomposition of the building and it colours all left me filled with excitement for some new ideas on patterns and compositions. Outfit 1 – Dress by Sandro Outfit 2 – Shirt by Sandro – Trousers by Topshop 2015 season – Antique belt
Back in Vietnam, we visited the museum of ethnography which shows the culture of the current 54 different ethnics in Vietnam. What particularly caught my eye were the costumes, covered with beautiful patterns and vibrant colours. It has been clear to me this last week that textiles is an import trade here. It is often used in ceremonies, for the passing of age for example, where puppets, made of cloths are burned to get ride of bad luck. I had the chance to experince a ceremony in one of the local houses in…. It was an incredibly fascinating experience, the shaman who led the ceremony with her musicians and puppets created an athomephere close to fantasy like for us Europeans. Seeing it in film at the museum was nothing compared to the live experience,. i felt incredibly lucky to sit in their temple and share their tradition with them. Outside were replicas of traditional houses, used by different ethnic groups up living on the mountains which were fantastic to discover and climb into.
On our way to the airport last saturday to leave Vietnam, we stopped by a workplace for handicapped people born from parents exposed to agent orange during the Vietnam war. One of the main skills practiced was embroidery. The walls of the room were covered in hand stitched paintings. Although they had to work with a portfolio of designs , the choice of colours, threads and personal style gave each piece it’s unique charm. The main stitch that they were using was a filling in running stitch, using 2 strands of wool. The most impressive ones for me, are the black and white pieces, they are full of depths and truly look like photographs. There are also beautiful horizons and abstract pieces.
Van Phuc, a village not far from Hanoi, has been known for it’s quality silk for over 1200 years.The village’s fields abled them to farm and produce their own silk. However with the urbanisation and development of the country, these fields were turned into suburbian towns of Hanoi. Due to this the village now has to import the silk cocoons from other areas before proceding with the silk making process. Nowdays, the silk looms are mechanised to speed up the production method, however the original manual looms are still on show in the village. The director of the factory took some time to show us how the machanical machines work. These punched wooden sheets are used to program the machines to create the designs on the silk.