A renowned Singaporean designer whose previous clientele list includes Princess Diana has collaborated with Lao silk artisans to produce his latest collection.

Benny Ong’s three-day exhibition, which opened at the Mercure hotel in Vientiane on Thursday and ends this evening, was organised to promote craft weaving in Laos and all profits from sales will go towards this cause.

After vis iting Laos and falling in love with its weaving culture, Benny began working with a group of weavers at the Phaeng Mai Gallery. He held his first exhibition of this kind in 2005 and in 2007 he took an exhibition to his native Singapore. This is now his third Lao silk exhibition.

Each piece in the exhibition has been created by Benny in collaboration with talented Lao weavers and artisans, and features a series of graphic designs and motifs based on Singapore’s Paranakan culture, which blends Chinese and Malay cultures.

Singapore Ambassador to Laos Mr Dileep Nair praised the efforts of both Benny and the Lao weaving community.

“Weaving has always been a part of daily life and is an important aspect of Lao culture since most Lao women wear the traditional sinh. So, with its strong traditions, Laos is a weaver’s paradise.”

“The objective of this exhibition is to bring together the cultures of Laos and Singapore as this is an excellent example of how through people to people cooperation you can gain a better understanding and appreciation of each other’s culture and heritage,” he said.

The exhibition is sponsored by My Lao Home, a Singapore company that runs boutique hotels in Luang Prabang.

Source: Vientiane Times
By Phoonsab Thevongsa
November 28, 2012