1. Gerai OA
“Help indigenous communities help themselves. It is not just about selling, it is about educating people” – Reita Rahim.
Designer/Craftsmen: Orang Asal people
For: Gerai OA (non-profit organisation)
Location: Peninsular Malaysia/Kuala Lumpur
From the Jakun villages: pandanus “kerton kaki jangking” 3-in-1 nesting containers by Salbiah Teh (30) from Kg Simpai.
Gerai OA, founded by Reita Rahim in October 2004, is a volunteer-run traveling “shop” that sells traditional crafts made by the Malaysian ethnic group: Orang Asal. 100% of the money collected of sales goes directly back to the artisans. Reita Rahim, goes from village to village of 17 different ethnic groups around Malaysia looking for rare and unique craft. The items are then taken to Kuala Lumpur and sales are carried out at rent-free events or in sponsored spaces. Their mission is to document, revive and revitalise and encourage the survival of the heritage crafts of the Orang Asal via sales, workshops, publications, books or DVDs by or about the Orang Asal.
Alphabetical pandanus bookmarks woven by the Mah Meri. Designed in 2011 by Kamarul Ramat (18) & his sister, Pijay (20).
Information in depth here:
2. Soning Craft
Designer: Malina Soning
Craftsmen: Rungu Community
Location: Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, East Malaysia
SONING CRAFT was founded in 2005 by sisters Mazelina and Malina Soning to ensure the continuous sale of handicrafts produced in their village. The Rungus community is recognised as a community with natural talent in making unique and original products out of beads. Generally, the Rungus handicrafts sold by SONING CRAFT are made from natural resources from the forest, redesigned using beads to create the motifs and artwork traditional to the Rungus community. Among the raw materials used are – all types of seeds such as igiu, talantang, sinangkil, petai and saga seeds which can be used to make accessories such as necklaces, bracelets and earrings. Some of the challenges this community is facing is that the production of bead handicraft has grown big while the demand has dropped along with the prices and Many people have started handicraft businesses, making it highly competitive locally, and here is where Malina comes in. She is responsible in the improvement of design, colour, natural resources and originality and uniqueness in general, this way, the Rungus community handcrafts can stand out and be successful in the future.
Pakugandang Brooches, glass beads.
Pinakol Pakazan, glass beads
Designers Featured at Kuala Lumpur Design Week Festival
3. Little Syam
Designer: Little Syam
Location: Kuala Lumpur
from Collection FRENCH/KETTLE/COPTIC STITCH BINDING
Little Syam is a Malaysian Freelance Graphic Designer who creates her own arts and crafts under her label named LittleSyam. On her blog profile, she explains how she creates based on the love her surroundings, past experience and personal expression depict. Even though she does not state that Malaysian traditions and culture are shown in her work, I believe it does communicate that sense of nature, animals, colour and vibrance Malaysian crafts have.
Kuda from collection Dolltopia
4. Oh & Ah
Designers: Anonymous group of five with different backgrounds
Client: Oh & Ah Store
Location: Kuala Lumpur
RATTAN ANIMAL – RED BULL, collected in Malaysia, painted with acrylic
All products in Oh&Ah anre designed and handmade by the five designers of this brand. They collect, design and make with the purpose of selling unique and one of a kind product with a story and meaning behind. With the picture above as an example (Rattan Bull), we see how they are influenced by traditional ways of handcrafts, in this case Malaysian because of the kind of materials they decide to use for their products: rattan, wood, ceramics, etc. however, they innovate and make it contemporary by adding details such as bright red acrylic paint.
CLAY CANDLE STAND
BAS SEKOLAH – WOODEN CASING typical school bus around Malaysia
5. Material Poetry
Designer: Mike Tan
Client: Material Poetry Shop
Location: Ipoh, Malaysia
Material Poetry is a Malaysia base T-shirt brand created by Mike Tan. Even though they are made from organic Pima Cotton from peru and not with local materials, all the graphic design and photographs come from the Old Town part of Ipoh in Malaysia. They use Direct Garment technology when printing, which added to the fine cotton makes Material Poetry’s T-shirts very durable and unique.
6. Gigi Gee
Designer: Gigi Gee