Master craft artists Michael Lim and Senia Jugi teamed up to present a exquisite collection of bags of natural fiber (rattan and bemban) embellished with recycled metal hornbill birds and grasshoppers in a stunning presentation for Aspara Fashion Week Spring Summer 2022.
Both artists are Living Legends of Sarawak, Malaysia; Michael for his art of batik painting; and Senia for her natural fiber basketry. Michael secondary interest has been crafting grasshoppers and hornbill birds using palm and pandanus leaves. He has travelled internationally to show his artwork in Bangkok, Manila, Jakarta, Uzbekistan,Honolulu, Seattle, Santa Fe and London. Of late, he has decided to change to using recycle empty metal cans of soft drinks!
“I cut the cans into strips which are soft and pliable and select the colours for different parts of the hornbill birds or the grasshoppers. I can also make butterflies and other insects” said the innovative artist. Apart from presenting them as brooches for fashion and embellishments on bags, Michael also creates earrings.
He attracts a lot of audience wherever he has demonstrated his art of recycled metal; and has been invited to conduct workshops to teach this special artform.
Senia Jugi is an Iban (indigenous people) of Sarawak who has learnt the art of basketry since a young age from her mother and her longhouse community. Adept in making all the traditional mats and baskets of the Iban people for daily use, and the ornate types for ritual and festival purposes, Senia learnt how to make bags in a course offered by the Malaysian Handicraft Development Corporation over 30 years ago. Today she is a trainer teaching a younger group of community craftspeople in this technique.
Senia creates her own designs for the local Malaysian market, and also travels to show her works at the Santa Fe International Folk Art Market, USA, and does a road show to Seattle, Vancouver, San Francisco annually.
For the Aspara Fashion Week, Designer Edric Ong decided to bring the two Craft Masters together and styled the Collection around his own fashion outfits of black, blue and red silk and cotton jackets, but focusing on these unique sculptural recycled metal hornbill birds and grasshoppers.
The bags are all ‘one of a kind’; as are the brooches. No two are alike!