Perspective magazine HK Febuary 2010 / DESIGN Thai master by Annie Gotterson Part 2/3

These creations could then be applied to paper to make cards, or laminated to produce coasters and place mats. One day, after working on these for several hours, a small pile formed at his feet and when he bent down to gather them up he noticed that when grouped together, they created an interesting form.

Playing with this idea, he cut these patterns into a silk screen template, applied it to clear PVC sheets, then joined the two dimensional pieces together with metal eyelets and knots to make a star-like shape. Several of these ‘stars’ were then strung together in a line to form the Pearl hanging light.

Similarly, for Satellite, Taja once again turned an ancient technique on its head to create something modern. Finding inspiration in traditional lacquer ware, where bamboo structures are coated with black resin, the designer decided to use the same materials, but in a new way.

Usually, when using bamboo, the outer layers are stripped off, leaving only the pliable core. But in Satellite, Taja did just the opposite. “I kept the outer cover to use as the main material for the lamp collection. It has good qualities; it’s light, flexible and insect-proof,” he explains. Claiming to be a pioneer of using bamboo’s ‘outer skin’ in furniture, he found the soft wood easy to manipulate into the oblong form of the Satellite floor lamp.

Finding most of his inspiration in the past, it’s easy to understand why Taja constantly references these ancient styles and techniques, and it seems he was almost destined to do so. “My grandfather is a philosopher on the literature, language and ceremonies of ancient Lanna cultures, which I love, “he says. A region that spanned the land that today is divided between Burma and Northern Thailand. the Lanna kingdom is known for the unique forms of craft and art developed there during the short life of the region.

Already generating a name for himself as a designer who can adapt this distinct aesthetic to modern life, Taja is currently working on the interiors of a hotel in Chiang Mai with a brief to do it completely Lanna style.

Soon after, however, he will head back to his hometown, Lampang, to delve deeper into traditional styles and forms. “My next big project is a home-stay in local villages in Lampang to learn ancient art, as well as pureness,” he says.


~ by Rattanaphol Taja on July 20, 2010.

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