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Bambooina: Indonesian designers bring the beauty of bamboo to Chiang Mai

I Wayan Juniarta

The Jakarta Post

Denpasar  /  Thu, December 21, 2017  /  09:36 am
Bambooina: Indonesian designers bring the beauty of bamboo to Chiang Mai

Fasa Tako planter (Bambooina/File)

Ayip Budiman approached a table where four of his friends were enjoying the warm Sunday afternoon over cups of coffee in the garden of Rumah Sanur, one of Bali’s leading creative hubs.

Smiling, he carefully placed an object on the edge of the table. It was a bamboo tube, with the bottom made of what appears to be natural sandstone. It came attached to a brown leather strap.

Ayip winked and challenged his friends to identify the beautifully crafted object.

The wink put a stop to their conversation on the significances of Blanjong stone inscriptions, an artifact located some 500 meters west of Rumah Sanur.

“It is a bluetooth speaker,” Ayip exclaimed with joy.

The wireless speaker is aptly branded Tung, named after the sound made by akentongan (a slit drum used by traditional villages to communicate with one another).

Tung is one of 11 Indonesian brands selected to participate in the 2017 Chiang Mai Design Week in Thailand.

Tung bluetooth speaker by Rizky FaesalTung bluetooth speaker by Rizky Faesal (Bambooina/File)

The annual event, a major celebration of creative talents from across Asia, concluded on Dec. 10. It encourages the management and development of sustainable, locally made products.

The 11 brands are part of Bambooina Projects, a collaborative initiative between Rumah Sanur and Adhi Nugraha, a prominent product designer and lecturer at the prestigious Bandung Institute of Technology (ITB). It is also supported by Thai Airways.

Adhi and Ayip, cofounders of Rumah Sanur and a permanent fixture of the island’s creative industry, serve as curators for Bambooina.

“Bambooina means ‘Contemporary Indonesian Bamboo Design Objects,’” Ayip said.

Among the selected brands and products are Spedagi’s bamboo bicycle designed by Singgih S. Kartono; a bamboo violin by Andar Bagus Sriwarna; bamboo tableware by Handhyanto and the local community in Belu, East Nusa Tenggara (NTT); Mohoi bamboo speakers and lighting by Rasyid Akhmadi; Taskuni bags by Adhi Nugraha and Paivi Purnamaki; and Tung by Rizky Faesal.

Spedagi bamboo bicycle designed by Singgih S. KartonoSpedagi bamboo bicycle designed by Singgih S. Kartono (Bambooina/File)

All the brands display new creative ways of utilizing bamboo, a widely available material that has been used for centuries in the archipelago, into modern-looking and esthetically appealing functional products.

Bambooina, Ayip stressed, proposes a way forward for designers to be enablers of holistic sustainability in the bamboo sector, especially for designers who enable and empower bamboo-working communities and small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

“We selected and curated works of some different approaches to the transformation and development of various bamboo-based products as a part of a responsible lifestyle,” Ayip said.

Transforming tradition is another key principle behind the program.

The idea is to keep various valuable traditions alive by connecting them to the contemporary lifestyle to ensure and safeguard its sustainability for future generations.

“It is important that people can be modern without losing their traditional roots, so designers and artists have the big challenge and vital role of assisting the transformation of traditions,” Ayip said.

Amuraka bagsAmuraka bags (Bambooina/File)