Poly'nAsia: a fashionable fusion of Tongan & Indian textile traditions
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Poly'nAsia is a practice based research project that identifies and builds from the affinities between traditional Tongan and Indian textile techniques. It seeks to explore and synthesize the parallels between two textile traditions - tapa1of Tongatapu in Tonga and kalamkari2 of Masulipatnam and Kalahasti in Southern India.The project functions within the framework of the wider cultural and social contexts. It does not follow a strictly premeditated path or a rigid time line. An intuitive, organic approach is adopted instead, to complement cultural traditions, taking time to build understanding, trust and respect. A collection of contemporary fashion garments and textiles is produced, inspired by yet distinct from these traditional textiles. The collection is synthesized i.e., it combines elements of tapa and kalamkari to form a coherent whole. This collection has contemporary relevance, while retaining the traditional handcrafted component of tapa and kalamkari. The investigative and creative process that culminates in the Poly'nAsia collection is documented in this exegesis. The collection was presented at a fashion show on 3rd February, 2005.