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There’s A Textile Exhibition Displaying 12 Types Of Malay Textiles In KL Until 30 October

There’s A Textile Exhibition Displaying 12 Types Of Malay Textiles In KL Until 30 October

From Songket to Anyaman, there are plenty of Malay textiles up for display at this exhibition in Menara Ken, TTDI.

Melissa Suraya Ismail

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Have you ever wondered what types of Malay textiles exist in Malaysia? Sure, we’ve heard of Songket and Batik, but what about the others? Malaysia is filled with rich cultural arts and the stories behind them. Surely we have more than those two types of textiles, right? What are the others?

READ MORE: Did You Know Each Malaysian State Has Its Own Special Traditional Baju Designs?

Intrigued? There’s no better time to be intrigued because there’s a Malay textile exhibition going on in town!

Close-up of an exquisite Kelingkam Tudong Manto, which is a woman’s head shawl with gold ribbon embroidery, worn by a performer during The Splendours of Malay World Textiles Launch.
(Credit: The Splendours of Malay World Textiles)

Malay textile exhibition for the intrigued

Called ‘The Splendours of Malay World Textiles’, 12 major categories of Malay textiles will be presented through over 700 individual pieces.

Among the 12 major categories are:

  • Songket (brocade)
  • Limar (weft ikat)
  • Telepuk (gold leaf applique)
  • Tekatan (embroidery)
  • Pelangi (tie-dye)
  • Ikat Loseng (warp ikat)
  • Tenunan (plain weave of stripes and checks)
  • Linangkit (tapestry)
  • Cetakan (prints)
  • Batik (wax resist)
  • Renda (lace)
  • Anyaman (woven unspun plant fibre)
Telepuk (left) and Ikat Loseng (right).
(Credit: John Ang Collection)

There will also be similar textiles from other countries on display so we can relate and compare with the ones in our country.

Limar (left) and Tekatan (right).
(Credit: John Ang Collection)

This collection is owned and curated by John Ang, a Chinese American art historian and collector who stays in Malaysia since 2018 to further study and refine his understanding of the Malay world heritage textile.

Nini Marini, John Ang and Lee Talbot symbolically cutting a ribbon to launch Splendours of Malay World Textiles.
(Credit: The Splendours of Malay World Textiles)

Previously, he worked as the director of the Samyana gallery in Taiwan for 28 years. There, he established himself as an authority on Asian art while publishing a few books on Chinese furniture, Yoga and Asian cuisine.

I first started collecting Malay textiles in 2014 and was immediately enamoured by their beauty and complexities.

It sparked my passion and I became an avid collector, travelling all over Asia to acquire pieces to add to my growing collection.

John Ang, Art Historian and Collector
Performer Muslimah Saptuang, in a green and silver kebaya songket from Terengganu.
(Credit: The Splendours of Malay World Textiles)

The collection offers you a unique opportunity to see some of the finest examples of Malay textiles. You can witness the intricate technique behind every textile and learn how these techniques also have different variations to them.

The rare and high-quality content of the exhibition is aimed to inspire the general public, textile enthusiasts, fashion designers, interior designers and textile producers.

Performers in a sketch dressed from John Ang’s collection.
(Credit: The Splendours of Malay World Textiles)

In this 3-month duration, John will be conducting workshops, guided tours, dinner showcases and more in hopes of welcoming Malaysians and international visitors to the fascinating exhibit for them to learn and be inspired.

This collection is my gift to Malaysians, who I have learned to love since I moved here.

I hope it brings you joy, and empowers you to be confident of your culture, which has a beautifully rich and diverse history, something worth preserving and celebrating,

John Ang, Art Historian and Collector
Asmidar Ahmad in a pink and yellow rayon sarung kebaya popular in the 1950-60s.
(Credit: The Splendours of Malay World Textiles)

Take a look at the available tours and lectures for this 3-month duration here. Some of the interesting topics available for lectures are Nyonya Sarong Kebaya Fashion Evolution, Baju Kurung Patterns, Looking Deeper in the Symbolism of Bunga Cogan, and 7 Categories of Malay Embroidery, Collecting Textiles of Short-Lived Malay Fashion Trends and plenty more engrossing topics.

For more info on the exhibition, visit their website here.

The Splendours of Malay World Textiles 

Date: 24 July – 30 October 2022 (3 months)
Venue: Menara Ken, TTDI
Gallery Hours: 10.30 am – 6.30 pm (daily)
Ticket: RM35 for the exhibition

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