Wednesday, July 20, 2005


needleworkers on display

on our ride to hoa long bay, we stopped at this art pit stop for tourists, all sorts of ao dais, fabrics, purses, and paintings for sale. at the back of the store they kept rows and rows of needleworkers, all youth, patching and stitching in colors all day long. their backs distorted, shoulders misaligned from all the crouching over. it's paint by numbers, in a way: design is pre-drawn so they just have to fill in the blanks.

don't get it: why display the sweatshop? so tourists buy more because they know the work is authentically handcrafted? so tourists buy more because they take pity on the workers?