On The Road- 2020 AW; featuring the Woven Bamboo Bag, Woven Passport Wallet and Woven Camera Pouch
The name Kamaro’an originates from pangcah, it means “the place to live”. Pangcah is one of the indigenous ethnics in Taiwan.
Inspired by Taiwanese indigenous culture, Kamaro’an explores authentic craftsmanship through minimalist design. Each of our products is delicately handmade in our studio by indigenous artisans. We appreciate the handcrafts of everyday objects, that reflect pangcah’s way of living in harmony with nature. We fell in love with the nonfancy but practical weaving technique, that accomplishes daily needs. Kamaro’an celebrates the uniqueness, timelessness, and precision that hands can bring to life.
Taiwanese rattan weaving
We aim to create culturally related works for young indigenous.
We combine traditional Taiwanese indigenous craft with minimalist design.
The rattan peel that is pliable but strong was once the best-woven material in indigenous culture. Limited to the contemporary forest regulations, in recent decades rattans are prohibited to be collected. And like all the traditional and handmade objects happening all over the world, slow object making way has been replaced by fast production products like plastics naturally. This is why in the Woven Collection, we use durable vegetable-tanned leather to weave and to follow the traditional usage.
The Woven Series; from light to right
First Row: Woven Pebble Mirror
Second Row: Woven Lid Bag, Woven Card Case & Woven iPhone pouch (all in natural)
The characteristic of a leather string is similar to rattan peel. Both of them are thin but tough, lengths could be very long. They all breathe, patina, and get better with age. Besides the woven strings, we also use veg tanned leather as the bag surface. The structural and toughness features enable bags to be shaped only by folding.
The clean structural forms first of all highlight the core indigenous weaving, secondly it keeps the bags from stitches loses, last and most importantly it keeps more product costs to pay the artisans. Regarding veg tanned leather, it is always our first and only leather option. All our leather products are made of Italian vegetable tanned cowhides, it is proceeded by completely natural ingredients, working with respect to traditional leather tanning techniques.
The Kamaro’an project started in 2013 at Makuta’ay, the pangcah tribe in Hualien. Makuta’ay has been known for its avant-garde indigenous art in Taiwan for decades, famous artists including Rahic Talif and Sumi Dongi. lots of historical materials and traditional crafts techniques had been revived through Rahic and Sumi’s works. For us, as an indigenous and/or designer from Hualien, the concept was about how to translate the aged materials into nowadays objects, that have a market to support the sales, so could create local jobs for youths to come back. A place, especially in the countryside, has to have people, to live, to learn, to discuss, and to act so that they can become one of the layers of the local culture.
After several driftwood design prototypes, the Riyar Light was our first product. Working together with Ina Sumi, we followed the traditional umbrella sedge weaving techniques, which were used to weave summer mattress, and weaved as rolling waves on the geometric structure.
Riyar is clean and simple and highlights the weaving part. the factory-produced metal frame made the handwoven part easier, one artisan could make 2 to 3 Riyars a day. It could be produced in a small-scaled system with fine price positioning.
It won pretty much attention, in both Taiwan and international media. We started to have a little fame, in 2016, young girl Sara Lafay came back to join us. However the sales of the lighting were not good enough to pay Sara her living needs. it’s a pity that young people did leave their comfort zone in the city to come back, but it isn’t actually working.
This forced us to rethink how to make products that people would really do buy it, not just love it. Should we keep on doing the home objects we obsessed in, like the lightings, coat racks, side tables, or should it be the accessories that have larger markets?
You have to admit you might buy 50 bags in your whole life but perhaps 1 design lighting.
It’s practical, it’s not “individual” or “be ourselves”, but we truly love this decision. because in the later years the structural line bags did prop up our turnovers, more and more people joined us, we practice and record the traditional slowly but solidly. So this is the story. we stopped to discover the forms of furniture, but we transplant the geometric and structural lines to fabric and leather accessories.
Inspired by taiwanese indigenous culture, Kamaro’an explores authentic craftsmanship through minimalist design.
The name Kamaro’an originates from pangcah, it means “the place to live”. Pangcah is one of an indigenous ethnic in Taiwan.