“Many crafts are the inheritance of local traditions and memories. Different countries can exchange and interact, and use other people’s hands to make their own designs. I find it very interesting.”—Lin Shih-Hua, May Sun Studio
“The artisans really appreciate with the given ideas and the challenges of learning new method with all kinds of designs. They’re actually looking forward to many, many more other designs.” ── Melinda Omar, coordinator of Anyaman Begerang, Kampung Semera Ulu, Asajaya, Sarawak, Malaysia
Designer and Craft Community
Inspired by material experimentation, May Sun Studio produces designs that are born from the land. Initially, through field research and waste collection, the studio gave voice to the issue of rural waste from the creator’s perspective. More recently, the studio has been conducting extensive research into the treatment of different materials, returning to the original state of materials, and then using a variety of material experiments, traditional fiber techniques, and design methods to treat materials and create new creative possibilities. At present, we are mostly using paper and natural fibers such as banana, ramie, kudzu, and petunia from agricultural waste to create our works.
Anyaman Begerang is headed by 94 year old Ngot binti Hj. Bi, and her niece, Majenah binti Rajli. Other weavers include Ibu Ngot’s two daughters and other intermittent women from the community. They weave the unique ‘tikar begerang’ or lattice openwork mats using local pandanus fiber planted in their farms; and the ‘ranyek’ or traditional Malay triangular dowry pouch which has a special ‘zipper‘-like technique of closure. Ibu Ngot has been designated as Living Legend of Tikar Begerang by the Sarawak State Government, and Ibu Majenah as Young Master. Their works have also received the UNESCO-AHPADA Seal of Excellence for Handicrafts and have been exhibited internationally.”Community Coordinator: Melinda Omar.
The 94-year-old Ngot binti Hj and her niece Majenah binti Rajjli are the main artisans of Anyama Begerang in Sarawak. Women in the community also come to weave and socialize during their free time. Using locally farmed pandanus as the weaving material, these women are skilled in weaving tikar begerang, a kind of entrelac mats, and ranyek, a traditional triangular bag for dowry. To Ibu Ngot, this co-creation project was not just a new experience, it was also full of challenges. When making the light shade, The Container of Light, she exclaimed: “Boat has become a lamp!” when making the mechanical hanging decoration, The Container of Wind, she tried new dyes. This unplanned experiment due to the pandemic enabled her to perceive the vibrancy of contemporary design, while also inspiring her of more possibilities of weaving.
FIBER CO-CREATED PRODUCTS
〈Sparks of Life〉
“What I want to store in a space are elements like the wind and light.” Designer Lin Shi-Hua has long been concerned with people, land, and cultural issues. Before the project, she learned about ranyek, a traditional triangular bag used for wedding dowry, carrying blessings for the bride; using ranyek as the inspiration, Lin combined the bag with the tassels of tikar begerang to create the hanging mechanical decoration, The Container of Wind, extending her desire of grasping precious things into the space. Consisting of eight boat-shaped units with openings on both ends, the woven light shade The Container of Light is also derived from the shape of ranyek. The hanging light’s structure is supported by rattan fiber, and this idea is the fruit of cooperation with the community. After the boat-shaped units were completed, they brainstormed on how to hang the work, and they thought of Senia, the crafter of the Iban Basketry, and with her help, the team was able to complete this work that challenged traditions.
May Sun Studio
Hi! founder of May Sun Studio, Lin Shih-Hua!
Hi! We are artisans Ngot binti Hj and Majenah binti Rajli from Kampung Semera Ulu, Asajaya, Sarawak, Malaysia!