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Lim Masulin, bringing Indonesia's weaving craftsmanship to the world stage

Asmara Wreksono
Asmara Wreksono

The Jakarta Post

Jakarta | Tue, August 23, 2016 | 09:53 am
Lim Masulin, bringing Indonesia's weaving craftsmanship to the world stage

Lim Masulin, along with Indonesian architects Andra Matin, Budi Pradono, Yanto Effendi and Heru M Prasetyo -who have incorporated weaving into their designs, are scheduled to showcase Wonders of Weaving at Maison&Objet in Paris, France, September 2 - 6. The lifestyle show overlaps with the merriment of Paris Design Week this year which will be held from September 3 - 10. (Lim Masulin/-)

While Indonesia is blessed with many traditional woven crafts, which are abundantly available at very cheap prices, some questions arise: are they getting the recognition and appreciation they deserve?

Well-traveled couple Lim Masulin and his wife, Yuliana, found out in 2006 that global brands like Fendi Casa and Kate Spade’s handwoven pieces that are made in Indonesia sell for sky-high prices. This led them to wonder why hand-woven pieces in Malioboro only sold at prices of less than US$ 10.

Lim then started to question why design and innovation in Indonesian weaving are driven by western brands. “That’s how we got into weaving, to answer this question,” Lim said to The Jakarta Post via email.

(Read also: Global warming and green architecture)

While weaving is seen as a complicated art form, in reality it’s very easy to learn and creates jobs in poverty-stricken villages, says Lim, who also took a dive into weaving because of the craft’s strong significance in art, architecture, design, fashion, graphic, textiles and many more.

“Weaving could be the only ultra-functional craftsmanship of our world. Master weavers’ vibrant expertise is deeply rooted in the cultural heritage of humanity,” he explained, “It can be done with different kind of materials, from the softest to the most durable ones. With proper training, the weaving industry is globally scalable in size, speed and form.”

Combined with advanced computerization and aluminum framing technology, woven light filters are also able to be customized in their design and shape, not to mention electricity-saving in production. Lim’s BYO Building Material comprises steel slings, aluminum fiber, weatherproof recyclable HDPE fiber and other materials. (Lim Masulin/-)

With his BYO Living business, Lim has materialized his green-living idealism by incorporating weaving into furniture and ultimately architectural elements.

“With our rapid development, we’ve invented new architectural technologies to incorporate weaving into buildings. Our research team found that not only can woven textiles be very lightweight, they can also filter light and warm air coming in and out of a building. This combination is an ultimate energy-reducing solution for green buildings.” he said.

Combined with advanced computerization and aluminum framing technology, woven light filters are also able to be customized in design and shape, not to mention electricity-saving in production. Lim’s BYO Building Material comprises steel slings, aluminum fiber, weatherproof recyclable HDPE fiber and other materials.

(Read also: Bali designer takes origami to a new level)

Lim along with Indonesian architects Andra Matin, Budi Pradono, Yanto Effendi and Heru M Prasetyo -who have incorporated weaving into their designs, are scheduled to showcase Wonders of Weaving at Maison&Objet in Paris, from September 2 - 6. The lifestyle show overlaps with the merriment of Paris Design Week this year, which will be held from September 3 - 10.

Maison&Objet, an annual lifestyle show, brings together 360° product offerings that include design, decoration, furniture, accessories, textiles and many more. Lim’s woven architecture elements will be exhibited under the project’s name Wonders of Weaving in Hall 8, the “Projets” hall, which is devoted to unique and singular know-how that sets apart any architectural project.

As this will be the first time for an Indonesian designer and architects to be featured in the famed lifestyle show, Lim's weaving had to go through a grueling selection process, “After submitting the Wonders of Weaving ‘Earth Dwelling’ concept and going through their curatorial process, we were selected to be the first Asian country ever to exhibit at their architecture/interior section [Hall 8],” he said.

(Read also: Indonesian designer featured at Singapore furniture fair)

Although successfully bringing Indonesia onto the world stage, Lim still faces several challenges including funding, “The challenge for Indonesia in introducing weaving to the world is consistency in funding and support. The major spending for the international exhibitions mainly comprises concept development and accommodation,” Lim explained.

However small the support he receives, Lim is optimistic, “We maintain a positive attitude toward introducing Indonesia's creative industry globally, [although] it’s our wish that there will be more support for this good cause.”

Wonders of Weaving “Earth Dwelling” at Maison&Objets will be the world’s first exhibition to showcase energy/waste-reducing weaving and craftsmanship in new buildings designed by Indonesian architects. It is an open collaborative platform to innovate weaving and craftsmanship through design development in architecture, interiors, fashion and art with leading talent. 

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