29 July, 2009

By Design and Design By

At the Kuching Waterfront a few days ago I stumbled upon two perspectives about design. Firstly a craftsman can put an impression on a material surface . Taking cue from the many handicraft work on show at the Handicraft Exhibition and Sales at the Kuching Waterfront, designs are imprinted on material surfaces ..by design. (Inset is a design imprinted on tree bark ) Many of the products on show exemplified local Sarawak design pattern derived mainly from the rich and varied ethnic diversities in Sarawak. I think blended together these designs can portray a new Sarawak design identity. I will stop there and let the craftsman think how. Secondly I was very intrigued and equally impressed by the works of some of the craftsman who create ( recreate?) Nature's design by accommodating the nuances of natural wood which in the case below is of the 'Belian' wood- the hardest timber species in Sarawak. The pieces I saw on display were mainly from the buttress roots and bases of trunks that reveal a 'given' design. The craftsman merely work with nature or around it. The value creation lies in making nature expressive according to the ideas of the craftsman. The craftsman and Nature co-exist. Thus in this context I call it ..... Design By .

Ethnic design ..chiseled and carved on wood ........By Design

Design By .......... Nature

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