Ella – Year of the Snake 2013

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Personal take on the topic

As I delve deeper into the topic of the snakes with the course of the project, I find most interesting is that their presence in Southeast Asia was especially prominent in their indigenous societies. Most of the time, the snake, which is more commonly known as the Naga (in Thailand and Indonesia), or the Nak (In Laos and Cambodia) is revered and respected for they enrich the lands and the individuals with blessings, rather than prompt fear and loathe from its community. With this, it sparked my interest in looking within the region I live in, so as to find meanings of what was once powerful and potent, but only to be diluted and forgotten in the present– the bustling and fast-developing cities of Southeast Asia.
The Project

This is a research-driven project that explores the meanings behind the Snake, which are relevant to the community of Southeast Asia. I will then contextualize these meanings into a calendar for the year 2013. The deliverables will serve as a tool to reach out to people residing in this region, fostering a greater understanding between them in realizing that the core of their beliefs are not as different from one another, and in some instances, more often than not, the customs and festivals may have manifested from the same animal, the Snake.

Deliverables

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1. Book on Festivals of India and Southeast Asia

The book gives an overview of the festivals that occur throughout India and Southeast Asia where snakes are closely linked to Hinduism and Buddhism, the daily life of farming and life ceremonies. These festivals are important to the community, and from this book, it will bring out the qualities of the Snake that are embraced throughout this region of the world.

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2. Book on Textiles of Southeast Asia

Throughout Southeast Asia, traditional textiles are a visual expression of fabric of life. I have chosen traditional textiles as a visual strategy to construct my calendar motifs later on as I feel that they most strongly sum up a Southeast Asian identity that is immediately recognizable and powerful. Hence, I have come up with a sourcebook of patterns and their meanings that will allow the viewer to read the motifs with a better appreciation and knowledge of the Snake and the visual elements that it transpires.

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3. Packaging

The packaging serves as a gift set that contains all of the other deliverables inside, so as to be bought off shelves come Year 2013!

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4. Calendar

The calendar has 12 specially designed motifs that serve to visually depict the festivals that go along with the month. It is heavily inspired by traditional textiles, along with my own personal interpretation of the festivals–with the choice of colours and the patterns I have gathered through my research, they will most effectively communicate the qualities of the festival relating to the snake.

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