As we embrace technology with our very own new whizz bang website with open arms, at our centre we are examiners of the arts of ancient cultures and use it as daily inspiration in our collections.
Ancient Cultures are still with us...
Who am I? Where did we come from? The biggest, biggest question ever in my life. Even from the get-go as a wee kid I remember studying my face in the mirror and thinking “Ok I’m in this body this now”. Maybe I was 5 at the time but I remember it like it was yesterday. It certainly kept driving me on the quest of discovering where we come from, and why? My idea was go to the source – go to the oldest cultures and tribes and see what they have to say – there had to be answers in ancient philosophies and teachers.
“Never was there a time when I did not Exist nor you, nor all these Kings, Nor in the Future shall any of us cease to be” Quote from the Bhagavada Gita Chapter 2 verse 12
I was fortunate enough to receive an AFS scholarship at the age of 18 to study in Thailand. It was then my vision of art and philosophy were considerably broadened. Culture shock was an understatement. Seeing the way those people lived differently, ate differently, spoke differently was utterly fascinating to me. It only took me a few weeks to sniff out the extraordinary Jim Thompson Fabrics, oh what heaven, this wonderful gracious man took a beautiful ancient craft and made it available the west.
As I ebbed and flowed though life I always held my Jim Thompson pieces close, not knowing that one day I would end up in the same industry. With now a textile company of my own, I found it very funny when 30 years later my son Sharm ran into the Jim Thompson USA team at an industry function in Hollywood in his first year there. "Karma" she sure is a funny girl. (This was his very first encounter with any design house in the USA)
As a young journalist I studied and lapped up any philosophy I could, I took all the religious and philosophy assignments – it was my thing and I got handed all the stories to cover – Scientology, Catholic Church Nuns, The Hare Krishnas. I didn’t do it like I was some kind of needy religious follower in search of a guru – I was then, as I am now, genuinely interested in ‘why’ we are all here. If I do have a Tribe, is there other seekers and question askers – there’s an incredible relish in diverse information of the soul.
It was on the voyage of self discovery that I also realised that much of the ancient arts and crafts are a result of this expression. Capturing the expressions of a divine equation, the marvellous planet we all find ourselves on. Again, I am of the notion, that art and artist expression is a matter of tapping in and pulling down the energy, to the medium of your inner love. Music, painting, sculpture and design. A meditation if you will. Be still and you will know. It’s what they are calling “mindfulness’ as the moment. My innate belief is that we also bring things from other times, other lives lived.
So in the large part this is where I am at - if I can promote and dedicate my working life to the expressions of Ancient Cultural Arts and its nuisances then year, I'm in my calling. India, Africa, Japan, South America - so much cultural diversity and beauty in their Ancient history. It's fascinating, mind blowing and incredibly satisfying to the soul. You also can't ever seperate nature from culture as we are bound by the environment we are nurtured in - it colours our vision - literally, as I can tell you from being in the fabric business, colour looks different in ever county.
Which brings me to the grand impermanence of life – that once the beauty of nature and cultural come to radiate us they then depart as we do to another time..
“After a thousand years even the fir must pass away. The morning-glory flaunts in pride its beauty of a day." Teitoku late Tokugawa Period
Enjoy the inspiration and my ongoing study of Ancient Cultures...
Blog by Tai Schaffler - Founder of Bandhini