A radical departure from previous designer interventions in indigenous communities will be unveiled in the product exhibit Y’ARÌ, at the April 2016 edition Manila FAME. The line of couture and accessories, as well as select pieces of home décor, will be the outcome of clinics integrating haute design within the range of possibilities of the refined work of three Mindanao villages.
Each high-end piece of wear and home accoutrement began with a selection of artisans capable of achieving the exquisite quality of work of their own grandparents among the B’laan and T’boli of Southern Mindanao. What followed was careful curatorial guidance to firmly recover the old (and often eroded) virtuosity, simultaneously as traditionally important materials are searched for throughout the Philippines and brought to the partner villages. Meanwhile, Manila-based and foreign designers were obliged to deeply understand the traditions, the old measures of quality, and the social dynamics of community life, prior to design interventions.
Changes of materials were guided by the intention to match the high quality of artisanal production with high quality materials. The curatorial direction consistently emphasized respect for the traditions of indigenous people; hence changes were only introduced which further elevated measures of quality recognizable, first of all, by the virtuosos themselves—instead of automatically imposing the “international” on the local.
The Y’ARÌ exhibit at Manila FAME was conceptualized as a laboratory that brings together disparate worlds: not just the global, capital cities, and village designers, but the artisanally-based producers of material, such as diaphanous piña cloth, silk, and cut mother-of-pearl, all Visayan products of industry, in support of katutubò virtuosity in Mindanao. Moreover, the laboratory involves support artisans, equally proficient, from Luzon. The outcomes have taken on completely cosmopolitan, indeed cutting-edge, looks—markedly distant from folksy design idioms. And yet their deep connection with the source culture are also equally overt.
“Through Y’ARÌ, CITEM aims to develop high value objects in collaboration with indigenous communities and showcase the marriage of culture and commerce in products that will be appreciated in the export market. It will provide Manila FAME global trade buyers and guests a perspective on the quality and level of skilled virtuosity and ethnological art tradition in the Philippines,” said Executive Director Rosvi C. Gaetos of the Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (CITEM). The export promotion arm of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), CITEM is the owner and organizer of Manila FAME.
Curatorship for the laboratory is provided by TAO, Inc., the Philippines’ only museum development and curator-led corporation. When engaged by CITEM for this project, TAO, Inc. immediately chose to collaborate with a village in Sarangani with whom the company has had significant collaborations for an entire decade. The village of Lamlifew, a barangay of Malungon, Sarangani province, is a small settlement of a language group known as B’laan.
TAO, Inc. builds Y’ARÌ—which is intended to produce high end products for haute markets—on more than a decade of work with the Lamlifew Tribal Women’s Association, a group of women of the B’laan ethnolinguistic group. TAO, Inc. assisted the group in establishing the Philippines’ first museum initiated and operated by a village. The museum is going to celebrate its 10th anniversary in 2017, and the collaboration with TAO, Inc. in Y’ARÌ is dedicated to the association head, Helen Lumbos, who has recently passed away.
TAO, Inc. curated Y’ARÌ on the basis of long-term, enduring relationships with indigenous peoples, to best bridge social and cultural divisions that are often impossible to surmount when design interventions are attempted with new relationships. In Y’ARÌ the design world meets up with the development world of community organizers, organic leadership at the grassroots, identity politics, and cross-cultural actors. (By Marian Pastor-Roces)
Y’ARÌ is one of the highlights of the Manila FAME April 2016 Boutique Edition which will be held on April 21-24, 2016 at the World Trade Center Metro Manila, Pasay City, Philippines.
Manila FAME is the Philippines’ only premier design and lifestyle event for the global market. A bi-annual trade show, it is dedicated to home, holiday, and fashion sectors featuring hundreds of exporters, manufacturers, and designers.
For more information on Manila FAME and Y’ARÌ, log on to www.manilafame.com.
Manila FAME, the country’s premier design and lifestyle event, returns to its April season to bring the global trade buyers to the optimal buying cycle at the World Trade Center in Pasay City on April 21-24. For its 63rd show edition, the trade fair evolves into a boutique show featuring a more sophisticated, more exclusive and tightly curated show.
With the theme “Iridescence,” a portrayal of the colorful character of the design and lifestyle event of Asia, Manila FAME will headline an ever-growing showcase of export-quality Philippine designer pieces for the home, holiday, and fashion sectors in a well-coordinated boutique setting. It is organized by the Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (CITEM), the export promotions arm of the Philippine Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).
“Manila FAME is more than just a trade fair. It is a journey of discovery of globally responsive products that celebrate color and style under one roof. Buyers who visit Manila FAME on a regular basis always comment that they enjoy and benefit from the multi-dimensional experience that only Manila FAME offers,” said Rosvi Gaetos, the executive director of CITEM.
Spring Forward and Y’ARI are Manila FAME’s special highlights this April under CITEM’s Design for Exports program, a multi-tiered and multi-faceted assistance program which provides Philippine exporters, manufacturers, and designers with a full range of design and product development services. The program brings together both local and international designers and business experts, as well as both young and seasoned industry players to create finely crafted products in the home and fashion sectors designed for the global market.
Spring Forward will showcase handpicked local creations from the country’s craftsmen, artisans, and young designers. Furniture designer and interior design consultant Ito Kish will ‘reimagine’ the season of renewal through a symphony of greens and hanging light bulbs, brought together by solid black marble table tops that puts focus on the versatility and the potential of Philippine products.
Y’ARI will highlight the intersection of artisanal production in various Philippines villages and the interventions used to modernize this production, with Marian Roces as lead curator. The exhibition will showcase textiles, accessories, and ornaments crafted from native materials such as piña silk, beads, pearls, and gold to convey the level of quality that is being matched by modern transformations. With a haute design concept on hand, the exhibit will depart from typical trade show approaches.
Trade buyers and visitors will also get to experience the Philippines’ distinct character and rich inventory of traditions and talents through The Artisans Village, which aims to protect, preserve and promote the arts and crafts of the islands. It aims to celebrate the work of local artisans and master craftsmen highly skilled in weaving, wood carving, metal forging, and other various forms of traditional crafts.
As in previous Manila FAME show editions, Red Box will continue to inspire design enthusiasts with an inspirational showcase of fresh home and fashion ideas. Red Box is a design development that continues to develop junior designers through an ongoing talent and development and mentorship program. For the April 2016 edition, Red Box will feature the iconic designs of junior designers Joseph Rastrullo and Rachelle Dagñalan who will develop a conceptual display based on Manila FAME’s theme “Iridescence,” under the mentorship of Budji Layug, the creative director of Manila FAME.
The presence of OTOP (One Town, One Product) manufacturers will once again highlight handcrafted products made by skilled Filipino craftsmen from various local communities. It is a project of the DTI-Bureau of Domestic Trade Promotions (DTI-BDTP).
Manila FAME will coincide with the celebration of Design Week Philippines (DWP), which fosters connections between creative industry practitioners and design enthusiasts in an interactive sharing of knowledge, ideas, and trends.
Now on its 9th bi-annual staging, Design Week Philippines will provide “the richest, most exciting, most meaningful ways to group, gather, and bond people.” The theme for April 2016 is “Connection” which refers to the creative attempt to bring together people from diverse backgrounds and culture to interact and share their creativity with each other, with Intramuros as DWP’s first design district.
Manila FAME is the second-longest running trade show in the Asia Pacific. It is the only trade event in the country approved by the Union des Foires Internationales (UFI), or the Global Association of the Exhibition Industry, a Paris-based association of trade fair organizers founded 90 years ago in Milan, Italy on 15 April 1925.
For more information on Manila FAME: The Boutique Edition, interested parties may visit the official Manila FAME website at www.manilafame.com.