It was an honour that I got invited by the legendary Indonesian Fashion Designer, Merdi Sihombing, to co-present his Ulos Batak presentation at the Brunei Gallery, SOAS University of London during the Symposium on Ikat Textiles on 15th May 2016. The two days ikat symposium was attended by ikat experts and fashion designers from around the world. It was great to have the opportunity to network with ikat textile enthusiasts and experts from around the world. Those who were presented at the events were:
- Rohit and Rahul Salvi- Patan Patola- double ikat textiles
- Dr Vandana Bandhari- Indian ikat textiles in Fashion
- Dr Anucha Thirakanont- The Royal Revival of Mudmee- Ikat Textiles of Thailand
- Meechai Taesujariya & Charoenpoome Stid- Unique brocade ikat textiles of Baan Kamphun, Ubon Ratchathani, Thailand
- Edric Ong- Reviving the Iban ikat textile traditions of Sarawak, Malaysia
- Dr Duncan Clarke- West African Ikat textiles
- Carmen Orellana & Pedro Cordero- The Ikat Tradition in Ecuador
- Myra Widiono & Susi Mohamed- ‘Ulap Doyo’ fibre ikat textiles of Kalimantan Indonesia
- Merdi Sihombing- Ulos Ikat Textiles of Sumatra- Tradition and Innovation
- Euis Saedah- Governmental Support for Indonesian Ikat Weaving Communities
- Claude Delmas- Contemporary Ikat Textile Weaving in Britain
- Ali Istalifi- Central Asian Ikat Textiles
- Hilary Simon- Ikat ‘Rebozo’ shawls of Mexico.
I learnt a great deal from this event, particularly from the Indonesian government presentations. It raised a huge number of questions in my mind and I hope to find the real truth in some of those amazing words. Indeed, Indonesian ikat will truly bind the past in the present in our culture, and we have a long way to go to understand this short sentence.