The Paper Artiste

FACT BOX

Wirin Chaowana, 23, calls herself a “paper craft designer”. She took a whole semester to cut, fold, bend, shape and glue sheets of paper into 3D sculptures of Thai traditional floral works. Conventional garlands, floral pendants and other traditional flower decorations have been turned into visually engaging sharp geometric forms and have won a number of accolades for this new visual communication design grad from Silpakorn University. Aptly named Pub Piab Riab Roy (fb.com/PubPiabRiabRoy), Wirin’s ingenious paper creations have been included in the exhibition POP BY TCDCCONNECT: “LOVE YOUR LOCAL”, on at Thailand Creative & Design Center (TCDC) until Feb 27 (see Art, p15).

TELL US ABOUT YOUR THESIS PROJECT.

I fused the beauty of traditional flower arrangements with my personal passion for paper to present Thai flower works in a modern way. The collection is called “Pub Piab Riab Roy” as each word represents the whole construction process. “Pub” is to fold, “piab” means a lot of paper, “riab” is smooth and “roy” is to thread.

DO YOU LIKE WORKING WITH PAPER?

Folding has been my favourite hobby since childhood. I find it fascinating when you can turn a flat, thin sheet of paper into three-dimensional shapes. It creates the perception of depth, light and shadow. It brings paper to life.

WHAT DO YOU CALL YOUR WORKS: PAPER ART, PAPER CRAFT OR PAPER SCULPTURE?

Collectively, it can be called paper craft. Works that are 3D free-standing figures can be categorised into paper sculpture. Paper folding or origami is for works that mainly use folding techniques.

WHAT WAS THE MOST CHALLENGING PART OF THIS PROJECT?

The hardest part was to pitch the idea of a fresh new interpretation of traditional flower arrangement because some may still prefer to stick to the conventional way of doing it.

ARE YOU COMING UP WITH NEW DESIGNS?

Yes, now my works are made to order. Some people have bought them for decorative purposes. I’m coming up with new creations with more functions such as jewellery and home decor items. So I’m experimenting withmixed media and different kinds of paper. In the future, I would like to learn more about paper and lead paper craft workshops.

WHERE CAN PEOPLE LEARN ABOUT PAPER CRAFT TECHNIQUES?

Most can be accessed online while books are still pretty hard to find. You may learn the basics and apply the techniques from several sources.

ANY RECOMMENDED WEBSITE?

There’s one with cute paper craft tutorials called Mini Eco [www.minieco.co.uk].

WHAT MAKES A GOOD PAPER CRAFT DESIGNER?

You need to be meticulous, neat, patient and logical.

About the author

columnist
Writer: Pimchanok Phungbun Na Ayudhya
Position: Muse Editor