“I want to deliver work experience that has no limits, no excuses, no difficulty, everything can be done. It’s to do or not do.” ──Korakot Aromdee, Thai designer
“I was very excited at the beginning of the project, and when I finally saw the design, I felt that the colors were unique, robust and lively. The technique was the plum blossoming technique we were familiar with, but because of the large size and many curves, we had to overcome some difficulties, through which we also learned a lot.” ── Bamboo Society in Tainan.
Designer and Craft Community
Korakot Aromdee, from Phetchaburi province, was born in a fisherman’s family and taught by his grandfather to fix his fishing equipment and to tie up his own kites. From this, he learned his grandfather’s knowledge of tying techniques and ancient Chinese bamboo tying techniques. Korakot was then inspired to study art at university. From this background, we now see in his work fantastic bamboo pieces and sculptures in places like Siam Paragon in Bangkok and at the Buffalo Amphawa Resort. Korakot describes his work as something that cannot be produced by industrial systems but the result of handicraft work of many scales combined together and produced by many hands, harnessing instincts that villagers already have in creating items for daily life and elevating these to new heights.
The development of bamboo weaving in Guanmiao, Tainan began in the late Ming and early Qing dynasties. It possessed profound weaving techniques and abundant bamboo forest resources. From 1960 to 1970, about 70% of the villagers were engaged in related industries, which was the main source of family income. However, due to changes in social patterns, the weaving skill was gradually forgotten. Till the winter of 2013, the fourth-generation heir of the bamboo weaving family Yung-Wang, Chang, established the Bamboo Society in Tainan. In order to do more things, the Bamboo Society in Tainan assumes the mission of inheriting and promoting the education of bamboo art. The courses and workshops help the Bamboo Society in Tainan train the weaving talents. Currently, it has the ability of customized production and small-scale production.
Designer Korakot Aromdee was born in a Thai fishing village. When he was young, his grandfather not only trained her on how to repair fishing baskets but also taught him how to make bamboo kites. From kites to pieces of furniture, Korakot never pursues, or perhaps he rejects mass production. His works combine crafts of different scales and are the results woven by the hands of many artisans.
His partner in this co-creation project, Bamboo Society in Tainan, was founded by Mr. Chang Yung-wang at the end of 2013, and focused on passing down the inheritance of the bamboo weaving craft early on; it was not until the establishment of Baizhuyuan (Hundred-Bamboo Garden) in 2016 that the society slowly shifted the focus onto the research of bamboo material. Currently, there are over 140 species of bamboos planted in the garden. From the society’s works of basketry, Korakot saw how they sophisticatedly and brilliantly dealt with details; however, he went the opposite way for his designs and hoped to make the merchandising process of the objects smoother through simplified details.
FIBER CO-CREATED PRODUCTS
〈Tai Ko〉〈Kora Tainan〉
Home, was where Karakot first learned the craft, and therefore, the two works in the Tainan x Karakot collection produced through the project: <Tai Ko> hanging light and <Kora Tainan> screen were both designed for home. Using bamboo strips in natural color, as well as bamboo strips dyed into yellow, red, and green, the works symbolize the closely knitted relationship among everyone in a family.
Being familiar with the material, Korako made use of his experience of making large products for the design of <Tai Ko>, incorporating large area of curved surface to showcase the details of bamboo weaving; to better present the intricate and dense weaving pattern, Bamboo Society in Tainan had to also adjust the procedure. The <Kora Tainan> screen was Korakot’s challenge for Bamboo Society in Tainan, hoping that the society could try to make larger objects, which not only could be used at home but also in cafés or restaurants as decorations to create an ambience of crafts.
Hi! Korakot Aromdee, Thai designer!
Bamboo Society in Tainan
Hi! I am 惠婷 from Bamboo Society in Tainan!