“This project makes us know that we should always develop to keep up with the world. No matter what obstacles you face and soon every problem will be fine. But if we stop and do nothing we will become obsolete people. Therefore, we should look at new possibilities in every problem we face. ” ── PATAPiAN, Thai Design Duo
“When we discussed weaving, I felt that it went quite well with the designers. Based on the local elements, including mountains and rivers, as well as some images of the woods they saw, they developed our unique patterns, which was a great starting point.” ── Taiwan Yuan-Li Handiwork Association
Designer and Craft Community
Varongkorn Tienparmpool (Jaum) and Supattra Kreaksakul (Koy) established PATAPiAN in 2014. Since then, PATAPiAN has gone from strength to strength exhibiting internationally, for instance in Milan Design Week in Italy and Maison & Objet in France, and winning various design awards, such as the World Crafts Council Award of Excellence in Handicrafts, the Good Design Award from the Japan Institute of Design Promotion, the DNA Paris Award to name but a few. They describe PATAPiAN as being inspired by craft practices and contemporary aesthetics. PATAPiAN’s signature is specializing in woven decorative items, learning and exploring Thai local weaving and then combining this fine weaving with contemporary design, to produce home décor items, lighting, accessories and artworks.
Located Shanjiao village in Yuanli Township, Miaoli County, in order to preserve the precious centries-old rush weaving culture. “Rush Weaving Craft Award” has been held since 2006, to encourage women who have profound weaving skill to restore the old life of weaving. The “Taiwan Yuan-Li Handiwork Association” was established in 2009, to processing craftsman certification, compiling technique textbooks and offering inheriting rush weaving courses, it also injects new energy into the rush craftsmanship through cross-collaboration between innovative design and traditional crafts. Through the youths staying in the countryside, combine the local characteristics of the environment and cultural resources, to create a “Rush Weaving International Art Village”, so the Taiwan’ originated craft will lead the villagers and artisans regained the glory of being “rush crafter” again.
Rush craft had a history of over 100 years in Miaoli, but it also slowly waned through the wheel of time. It was not until 2009 that the local citizens formed Taiwan Yuan-Li Handiwork Association that they began to slowly rediscover the craft of rush weaving. PATAPiAN, a design duo from Thailand who were very interested in triangular rush weaving, had great expectations for this co-creation project. At first, PATAPiAN raised the question: “Which weaving pattern can best represent Yuanli?” They discovered that local artisans had always woven their works referencing elements in everyday life, without ever thinking about which patterns could best represent the community.
Later, PATAPiAN and the association drew inspiration from the natural sceneries, such as trees, rivers, and mountain ranges, to develop two patterns—“Falling Leaves” and “Shape of Mountain.” These not only have become the bright spots of the works but also allow the association to continually use them in other works, like a signature that authenticates the works “Made in Yuanli.” When talking about production challenges, the association mentioned that they only focused on their expertise of rush weaving in the past, and designers would help out with other matters; this remote cooperation, however, forced them to learn how to connect the electricity for the lights, choose metal components, and find a carpenter. The process was full of challenges but allowed the association to explore possibilities of future works and expand the scope of co-creation.
FIBER CO-CREATED PRODUCTS
PATAPiAN’s design concept for the <Forest Bathing> collection of lights came from Japan’s Shinrin-yoko culture, which means walking and breathing in a place with trees and a natural ambience for the body and mind to relax and gain peace. The <Forest Bathing> collection consists of a “hanging light” and “table lamp.” In addition to showcasing the fusion of modern design and rush weaving technique, PATAPiAN also drew inspirations from the natural sceneries around Yuanli, and jointly developed new rush weaving patterns with Taiwan Yuan-Li Handiwork Association: Fallen Leaves and Shape of Mountain. Both lights feature the simple semi-circular shape to highlight the rush weaving patterns; the heterogeneous combination with wood further add to the overall structures more charm. The rush weaving patterns of Fallen Leaves and Shape of Mountain create shadows in the space through light, conveying the energy that can cleanse the heart and spirit to all corners in the space.
Hi! We are Thai Design Duo Mr. Varongkorn Tienparmpool and Ms. Supattra Kreaksakul!
Taiwan Yuan-Li Handiwork Association
Hi! I am Hsiao PoChun, project manager of Taiwan Yuan-Li Handiwork Rush Weaving Association!