Born into a family of weavers, Viengkham Nanthavongdouangsy learned the craft at an early age. Through her passion for weaving and dedication to maintain the family legacy, she became a master weaver and a leading fashion designer in Lao PDR. She has also published several books on Laotian textiles and weaving culture.
Vientiane-based Viengkham established her own house of Lao textile and fashion named KHANG in 2015, through which she employs and empowers more than 30 women weavers while promoting Laotian textiles to the global market. She has received international recognition for her designs.
Viengkham has been working closely with weaving communities across ASEAN, participating in events such as TENUN Fashion Week and ASEAN-Korea Fashion Week. Her work is currently on display in the Lao Pavilion at the ongoing World Expo 2020 in Dubai.
NFTs or non-fungible tokens are creating a buzz in the art world and creatives in Southeast Asia are buying in. They are latching on to the craze, experimenting with their digital work, and gearing up to take the NFT scene by storm.
Digital technology has been transforming the world of art since the 1960s. Artists are leveraging the power of technological innovations to explore new forms of artistic expression and create engaging digital art experiences. Digital transformation in the art field became more evident during the pandemic, as artists were pushed to expand their work into the digital realm.
There is a growing interest in the socio-economic contribution of the creative economy. It is spurred by the technological and digital transformation happening worldwide at an unprecedented rate and the increasing shift from an industrial to a knowledge-based economy where creativity and innovation are becoming critical.
ASEAN businesses need support to internationalise and engage in trade across borders and have a positive impact on economic growth. It is a wellknown that businesses that engage internationally can grow faster, experience higher turnover, adopt technological capabilities, and increase wages. In turn, their competitiveness improves in global value chains as well as in domestic markets.
The creative economy has the potential to not only strengthen the expansion of global value chains, increase digital adoption among creative small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), fuel the export of cultural goods and creative services, and foster ownership through local engagement, but also contribute to the overarching goal of sustainable development. The global market for creative goods increased considerably from 436 billion US dollars in 2002 to 964 billion US dollars in 2015 (UNCTAD, 2021).
The Creative Economy Programme of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD, n.d.-a) describes the creative economy as “the knowledge-based economic activities upon which the ‘creative industries’ are based.”
When COVID-19 first emerged, the speed at which it spread across the globe caught the world completely off-guard, triggering the worst global health crisis of our time.
On 30 January 2020, WHO declared the COVID-19 outbreak a Public Health Emergency of International Concern. As of 16 July, almost 200 million cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed globally, including more than four million deaths.
COVID-19 continues to threaten people’s lives in every aspect, in all corners of the world, with children most impacted. In East Asia and the Pacific, the latest wave of the pandemic rages on while changes dominate the landscape.
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