About the Directors

The Lao Heritage Textile Collection & Fibre2Fabric Team

The Lao Heritage Textile Collection and Fibre2Fabric Gallery were founded by the co-directors of textile organisation Ock Pop Tok, Veomanee Duangdala and Joanna Smith.

Veomanee Duangdala
Weaver, Curator

Veomanee Duangdala is the daughter of a famous weaver in Laos. Veo learnt her weaving skills like many other Lao women at a young age. She started at 8 years to prepare spools for her mother’s weaving and moved onto plain weaves whilst gradually learning more complicated skills and patterns.
During her early twenties Veo started working in the hospitality industry, it was here she learnt her English skills. In October 2000 she co-founded OckPopTok. Business related activities have given Veo the opportunity to travel to Australia, Japan, Singapore and Vietnam.

  • September 2002
    Exhibition at Headmasters Gallery, Sydney. Guest speaker to Sydney Textile Society.
  • March 2004
    Participant of ASEAN Trade Fair, Tokyo.
  • May 2005
    Participant at Sapa Poverty Reduction Conference, Vietnam.
  • February 2006
    Featured Artist Raffles Hotel WFAE, Singapore

Joanna Smith
Filmmaker, Curator

Joanna Smith an English born photographer and film-maker, has been based in Laos since mid 1999. A photography assignment with an E.U. funded project opened the door to more assignments in Laos. In October 2000 she co-founded OckPopTok.
Joanna has photographed for leading magazines such as Wallpaper, Gourmet, Destinasian and Travel and Lifestyle. Her film work has been shown at the French film ‘Festival Nature’, whilst corporate film work has taken her to Hong Kong and China.
Joanna initially learnt her weaving skills from Veo, working alongside weavers and dyers for the last 6 years has taught Joanna indigenous textile skills not taught at Western Art Institutions.

  • June 1998
    Graduated BA Hons Photography, Manchester University.
  • September 2002
    Exhibition at Headmasters Gallery, Sydney. Guest speaker to Sydney Textile Society.
  • March 2004
    Participant of ASEAN Trade Fair, Tokyo.
  • May 2005
    Participant at Sapa Poverty Reduction Conference, Vietnam.
  • February 2006
    Featured Artist Raffles Hotel WFAE, Singapore.

Sengchan Chantavong
Researcher, Archiver 

Sengchan Chantavong, graduated from English school in 2004. Her first work placement was with the Lao Tourism Authority in Luang Prabang. It was here she learnt many skills working alongside highly educated Lao officials.
In 2005 SengJan joined OckPopTok as the information officer. Her role is to gather and process information relating to textile techniques and their cultural relevance. It is through her work that the idea of Fibre2Fabric was founded.

Dalounee Phanchatakhan
Weaver, Researcher 

Dalounny Phanchatakhan is also the daughter of a weaver and tailor, learning her skills at a young age too. She graduated from English School in 2003 and has a diploma in accounting.
In 2001 she joined the OckPopTok team. Dalounny has been on all the research trips over the last few years. Her work has enabled her to travel to many trade fairs and exhibitions, including the annual Lao Handicraft Fair in Vientiane and exhibitions in Singapore and Thailand.

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