- POSTED: 10 Oct 2013 20:37
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A collaboration between Singapore retailer TANGS and UNESCO aims to gain more recognition for Asian craftsmen and allow them to sustain a better living.
SINGAPORE: Scattered across the different shopping levels of retailer TANGS Orchard are Asian handicrafts that are not just high-quality work but UNESCO award winning pieces.
The iconic Orchard road retailer is the first in Singapore to hold such an exhibition in conjunction with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).
On display are craft work that have earned the Award of Excellence for Handicrafts.
The award was created in 2001 to encourage the production of high quality handicrafts using traditional skills, patterns or themes in an innovative way to ensure the continuity and sustainability of various cultural traditions and skills.
The award also aims to raise international awareness and the potential for Asian handicraft products.
"We hope that this collaboration will encourage appreciation for innovative, high-quality craftsmanship that celebrates global heritage and culture in the same way that TANGS celebrates its own rich heritage," said Mr Foo Tiang Sooi, CEO of TANGS.
Through the art-meets-retail effort, the gap is closed between the artisans and their markets.
Manjari Nirula, vice-president of Crafts Council of India, said: “It really is a dream comes true for us because we have talked and plan about how to market the product since 2002.
“While the award gives recognition to the craftsman, it is the product that sustains the livelihood of the craftsman. Through this partnership, we will be able to give a platform for the craftsmen to sell their products."
As most of the traditional craftsmen mainly come from village or slum areas, the handicraft sector plays an increasingly significant role in local economic development and poverty eradication.
Asif Shaikh, a renowned designer in India, said: “I have seen people's lives change when they received the award back in India.
"I have seen people grow. Now they have a proper studio and earning good money and helping women to get jobs.
"With this collaboration, more opportunities are given to craftsmen to market their products. Craft can do anything. Craft can change people lives."
Some of the handicrafts available for sale include plaited bamboo baskets, silk sarongs, hand woven silk cushion covers and traditionally decorated jewellery boxes.
The exhibition is at TANGS Orchard Levels 1 and 2, while a pop-up shop is at Level 3. The exhibition runs till October 13.