At the upcoming FIND — Design Fair Asia taking place from 22 to 24 September 2022, part of the attraction is about the new and emerging young Asian talents showcasing their works at the first edition of EMERGE @ FIND. Suzy Annetta, the founding editor-in-chief for renowned periodical Design Anthology magazine has curated her batch of design fledglings whose works are poised to set the industry ablaze.
She worked with more than 50 Southeast Asian designers to present fresh works across four pillars such as “Natural & Local”, “Waste”, “Innovation” and “Unconventional”. Some of these designers include Alvin Tjitrowirjo from Indonesia and Wei Ming Tan from Malaysia alongside rising designers Karyn Lim, Robert Sukrachand, Hoang Anh Vu, and Jim Zarate-Torres from Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, and the Philippines, respectively.
Here are three rising new designers from Asia whom we think are the ones to watch:
Philippines — Jim Zarate-Torres
Hailing from the Philippines, Jim Zarate-Torres may not be a household name but he’s the founder and director of Zarate Manila which was established in 2015. He works with a handful of local artisans such as welders who can create objects that are balanced, elegant, and emanate warmth when placed in an interior.
His Filipino sensibility inspires Torres to create objects that express art, fashion, and industrial design. These creations reflect a modern, contemporary style relevant to our time. The Bo side table and Cheque coffee table designs demonstrate how metal needs to be manipulated through special techniques to achieve innovative and fresh designs.
The way these metal pieces are woven to create the base of the Bo side table also creates strong graphic and geometry lines and shapes in a single product, proving that Torres work can be simple and intricate at the same time. Even the Cheque coffee table is an execution of intricate work as the linear weaves come together to form a sturdy table top.
Singapore — Karyn Lim
Singapore-based designer Karyn Lim has been exposed to a wide range of designing different product types such as playgrounds, packaging, and clothing. In addition to her design work, she also manages communications for design brands, studios, and events. Such notable projects include 1KM organised by IndustryPlus during Singapore Design Week (SDW) 2018, and Made-in during SDW 2019.
Taking up much of her time is co-running a furniture brand called IndustryPlus. Asides from that, she also teaches design at Nanyang Technological University Singapore. Her Cloud furniture line is made from birch plywood and serves as a seat, table, or plain decorative sculpture. Lim had in mind for a furniture piece to be reductive but still functional; an arresting monolithic block that can also appear like a tangible block to be felt and used.
Peer closer at the details and you’ll witness that Cloud is curved at its lower corners, expressing a graphic layering of the plywood it is made from. Offered in two sizes a stool/side table or low table, the Cloud furniture collection is a peek into the inventive mind of Karyn Lim.
When it comes to wearables or fashion-based products, Lim excels too. Her Transformation Bags were not only exhibited at La Triennale de Milano in 2015, it was also displayed at an exhibition at the Singapore Art Museum in 2016. Don’t snub these flat bags as they can be transformed into a 3D volumetric object in one swift motion. The bags are made from a semi-flexible membrane of plywood pieces and leather. The designer devised a method where the shape of each bag is determined by a specific set of geometry work.
Read about more details of FIND — Design Fair Asia here
Thailand — Robert Sukrachand
Having two unique destinations to work from — New York and Chiang Mai — Robert Sukrachand is always interested to work with a blend of materials while drawing influences from different cultures. While his roots are from Thailand, his growing up years in Massachusetts gave him a global outlook. His love for mirrors is evident in one of his works.
Volume Mirror is both three-dimensional and sculptural, the object is both artistic and functional at the same time. They are made from three convex mirrors grouped at numerous angles to create a fascinating reflection.
His Torus coffee table fuses microsuede fabrics into an uncommon form. By wrapping bent plywood with this deep texture material, Sukrachand creates a product that exudes warmth. In addition, combining bronze glass and aged brass, this table is saturated with a luminous sheen and looks spectacular no matter which side you look at it.
Mirazzo bench was created during an inaugural trip in 2018. He witnessed Italians’ love for terrazzo and when he returned to Thailand, he noticed park benches could be made from the same material. However, he sought to use salvaged waste products from the stone industry to transform them into an object of beauty with his personal stamp of design on it.
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