For my final major project, I examined the traditional Malaysian arts and culture. I researched The Wau, otherwise known as the Malaysian kite, which is derived from the resulting sound of the arc that attaches to the wau. There are numerous versions of Malaysian kites associated with the various states in the country, each having their own meaning. Wau have been a traditional pastime, as they were played with by laborers such as farmers and fishermen, as a way to relieve stress after a working day. Malaysian kites then became a form of entertainment for all ages, and competitions were held. However, this tradition has faded with the disappearance of the older generation.
Leigh (2000, pp. 105) mentioned that, in terms of success in flying, the framework is the most important part of making a kite. However, the ‘bones’ of a completed kite are no longer visible when the kite is covered with layers of decorated paper designs. The idea inspired the 3D silhouette construction that can be seen in my explorations, working around boning used in corsetry making. The shapes are abstract, draped within stand works that shows the emphasis in the importance of a framework while combining them with contemporary designs reflecting the covered layers of decorative paper designs.
My explorations progressed into ideas to which I could experiment around textiles. Going into fabric manipulation or developing my own fabric to build my collection. A photo of overlapping of Wau that gave me the thought of it resembling to that of a lace. I decided to digitally draw the various versions of the Wau and overlapping them to one another. Then applying the design with laser cutting onto a piece of fabric. While it looks interesting on its own, I decided to add 2 layers of soft netting fabric, inserting the laser cut fabric in between, to create some depth towards the outcome. Further adaptations in the collection include digital prints as other key features, in addition to embroidery.
This is my final line up. Due to the pandemic, the production has come to a halt, only toiles and samplings were made. However, the last few months of my degree, there were lots of digital work and hands on activities that were carried out. It was my first attempt to create a mini version of a jacket from the collection. I also had photoshoots at home with the garments that I have to visualize the actual collection.