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Updated by Joanna James on Sep 13, 2018
Headline for 5 Amazing arts and crafts originated in Southeast Asia - highlighting Asian creativity and tradition
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5 Amazing arts and crafts originated in Southeast Asia - highlighting Asian creativity and tradition

Southeast Asia has a long list of interesting and culturally inspired arts and crafts with variances across the region. Each one representing various influences in a beautiful and inspiring way. 🏮🎐

1

Silk painting - Vietnam

Silk painting - Vietnam

In Vietnam, painting on silks is an age-old technique which creates a beautiful and enchanting image.

After a long period of development, the skill reached its peak during the mid 1900's, when artists learnt how to emphasize the softness, sophistication and adaptability of the style.

While there were already oil and silk paintings dominating in Europe, the quality and standard of the Vietnamese craft held its own, and by the 1940's, was accepted by the world.

Silk paintings are now highly prized in Vietnam, and have managed to create its own unique quality and combination of colours that can be held apart from other styles.

2

Wayang Kulit - Indonesia

Wayang Kulit - Indonesia

By flydime (Wayang Kulit / Indonesia, Yogyakarta) CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Wayang Kulit is a form of shadow puppetry, which holds the crowd's attention with fascinating story-lines told by a master puppeteer or 'dhalang' as it's known by locals.

The delicate puppets are made out of treated buffalo hide and intricately designed, right down to the tiniest detail, with regard to costumes and colours.

The stories are folktales about kings, princesses, gods and spirits, many of them plots from epics like the Ramayana, all told with skilled hand movements and captivating narration.

Traditionally, white sheets and oil lamps were used to throw light, but nowadays, electric lights are used to further emphasis the beauty of this craft.

3

Wau Bulan Kite - Malaysia

Wau Bulan Kite - Malaysia

Kerina yin at English Wikipedia CC BY-SA 3.0 or GFDL, via Wikimedia Commons

This intricately designed kite, known as a 'moon kite', is typically flown only by men and it is regarded as one of the country's national symbols.

The detailed motifs used on the kites are said to have been influenced by wood carvings - in fact, the initials kites were first made by wood carvers.

The kites designed are carefully traced on tissue paper with bright, bold colours, with the center of each featuring a flower called the 'Ibu'. If the flower isn't represented then the kite is not considered to be a traditional design.

4

Batik - Indonesia

Batik - Indonesia

Photo via Maxpixel

Indonesia has several forms of traditional art and craft items, but the Javanese art of batik designing is one its most well-known crafts.

Having spread across Asia, batik designs are now highly prized and have been featured in top design and shopping sites like Shopping in Focus.

These beautiful creations are made by carefully applying a form of way to cloth before dyeing it. The wax resists colouration and thus allows the artisan to create selective patterns by soaking the cloth in one colour, before removing the wax, and repeating the process if more colours are desired.

5

Chinese Porcelain

Chinese Porcelain

By Thomas Quine (Antique Chinese porcelain) CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Pretty much everyone in the world has admired a piece of Chinese porcelain at some point in their life. Commonly known as 'fine china', it features intricately details scenes, painted in light colours, typical in shades of greens, blues and reds.

The earliest piece dates back to the 11th century BC, and features the same delicate aspects of smooth surfaces, technique and hardiness seen today.☕️

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