Kaftan Kunts - Radical Thoughts Group Show, MOCAN

Hailed as THE housedress for the Malaysian wives, Kaftans (Caftans) have been a staple uniform in the household and is a crucial part of the economy for the local batik businesses in the East Coast of Malaysia.

Unfortunately throughout the decades Kaftans have also gained an unfavorable reputation of being dowdy, mousy and definitely not sexy. It is not strange to see tabloid headlines of men blaming the Kaftans for their failed marriages, citing lack of interests, and dwindling sexual attractions as the effect of coming home and seeing their wives in Kaftans. I, like almost every other female in the Malay household, grew up wearing Kaftans. I wanted to explore how a piece of clothing that bears a strong Identity of the female can be seen as unsexy, especially compared to the Westernized versions of lace negligee, boy shorts, tank top that often substitutes Kaftan these days.

For this body of work, I try to represent the Kaftans in a different light, first by form (the 3 pieces of see through lacy Kaftans) and then by function (embroidered come-hither poses) to challenge how the Kaftans are normally perceived by the menfolk. Additional exploration of using actual Kaftans as surfaces to highlight the domestic and voyeuristic is also done.