The traditional textiles of the Philippines are as diverse as our dialects. One people’s weave can stand completely apart from that of their neighbor, different in style, form, and story.

Yet in spite of these longstanding traditions, there are clear white spaces where understanding and recognition of the craft and craftsmen should be.

“Hinabi: Lawaran, Kulay, at Katawan” is Amihan Lim’s personal tribute to this cause. In a series of watercolor paintings, she pays homage to the Philippines’ many traditional textiles and their brilliant weavers, from the easily recognizable T’nalak of the T’boli to the vibrantly colored pis siyabit of the Tausug.

kgal
“The Kgal”: Inspired by the Tboli women’s blouse of the same name. The garment is usually decorated with beads or intricate embroidery. The patterns feature traditional symbols, including brightly colored floral and anthropomorphic motifs.

Drawing from the their patterns, colors, and use, she explains that “the goal was to take such elements and intertwine them to create something reminiscent of the textiles, yet distinct enough so as not to make it redundant.”

“Part of my intention of creating these paintings was to pay tribute to Philippine textiles and spark more interest in them,” says Lim, who serves as the creative director of Rurungan sa Tubod Foundation, a Palawan-based non-profit that produces sustainable fashion products from piña. Rather than introducing her work at an art exhibition, she presented them at the recently concluded Likhang Habi Market Fair, where the pieces were displayed among the textiles that inspired them.


The first featured image is entitled “The Seputangan.” It is inspired by the headcloth of the Yakan women, originally wovenwith cottom using the supplementary weft technique. One of the more colorful textiles of the Philippine weaves, it featured highly geometric designs in bright colors.

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