Blog : cultural blends

Peranakan Moderne: A Synthesis of Chinese, Indian, and Malay Cultures

Peranakan Moderne: A Synthesis of Chinese, Indian, and Malay Cultures

The Singapore-based designer brand “ipse ipsa ipsum” has unveiled one of the finest collections of Peranakan-inspired home décor and accessories.

/// Singapore ///


The front and rear of the floor standing mirror. — By ipse ipsa ipsum.
Bright and beautiful colors, and design on the rear panel tell fascinating stories of the Peranakan experience. — By ipse ipsa ipsum.

Bold and beautiful, Peranakan design is the product of Chinese migration into the Malay archipelagos of centuries ago. Making its world debut at last year’s International Furniture Fair Singapore, the new product line called “Straits Reflection” included a tabletop mirror and a floor-standing mirror that told stories of a fascinating amalgam of Chinese, Indian, and Malay craft traditions.


The designer brand was launched in 2016 as an initiative of “Sam & Sara”, an established Indian silverware business headquartered in Singapore. Combining ultramodern materials with traditional craftsmanship skills, the new brand aimed to create original designs under the slogan, “The extraordinary for the ordinary”.

“Straits Reflection” by Jeremy Sun and Nicholas Paul was the result of collaboration between the designer brand and the Peranakan Museum in Singapore. Peranakan Chinese, or Straits-born Chinese, are the descendants of Chinese who migrated into the Malay archipelagos form the 15th to 17th centuries. Over time, their cultural heritage, architecture, design, and cuisine have become prominent landmarks in Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and parts of southern Thailand.

Indian floral patterns, Chinese bird paintings, and Malay-style bold colors bespeak centuries of cultural interactions. — By ipse ipsa ipsum.

“Straits Reflection” is evidence of an artistic ability that has evolved through on-going interactions among Chinese, Indian, and Malays. Its design aesthetics combine Indian floral patterns with traditional Chinese bird paintings, and Malay-style bold colors.

A curious mix of the old and the new, “Straits Reflection” includes a tabletop mirror that displays temperatures and air quality values, and a matching floor-standing mirror that reflects on the Peranakan experience.

Sam & Sara booth at IFFS 2018


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Cultural Blends – SACICT Craft Trend Book 2017

Cultural Blends – SACICT Craft Trend Book 2017

Crafts are not objects from the past anymore. Designers and users in the modern world realize that the story behind products are worthy not only for money but for sentimental value also.


The SUPPORT Arts and Crafts International Centre of Thailand (SACICT) published SACICT Craft Trend 2017 to represents a confluence of new ideas in innovative crafts. It is the embodiment of interesting collections, research, and a fresh look at what have been trending in the world of arts and crafts. The project began in 2014 with the introduction of original SACICT products made by combining traditional wisdom and craftsmanship with today’s contemporary design. The effort was aimed at identifying the design and creating the kind of products that would best meet world market trends.

This year, Craft trends were presented in 4 categories and storytelling is the highlight of the showcase.


Cultural Blends

In today’s world where many cultures blend together as one, people are interacting and talking an interest in objects of handicraft. They become more curious about the origin, the craftsmanship and the techniques used in manufacturing those beautiful crafts.

The Gregoria Chair by Ito Kish, Philippines.
Performing Folded Bamboo Container with Vietnamese shape, use Burmese scraping techniques on pattern work. From Cross Cultural Crafts by SACICT.
The Benjarong jar assembled from many tiny ceramic pieces by SACICT.
Zigzag Table Runner, rope and leather weaving techniques since ancient Egyptian era for the decorating sheet. From Thai Navatasilp by SACICT.


Community-Inspired Crafts

The community provides plenty of inspirations for craft market. For many localities, craft making is not just a livelihood. It is also the heart and soul of life that makes the community strong and self-reliant.

New pattern of Kaomah from Thai Navatasilp by SACICT.
Arita town in Saga, Japan. The birthplace of Japanese ceramics.
The Lattice Collection designed by The Bouroullac brothers for Nanimarquina, hand made in Pakistan.
Bark Design Vase, pottery vase from Baan Chiang, Udon Thani, Thailand. From Sustainable Crafts by SACICT.
Natural stone with local feelings by Alvin T, Indonesia.


Hand to Hand

Artisanal skills get passed down from generation to generation. This long-standing tradition is told through the objects of handicraft that master artisans make. Today many craftsmen continue to make their goods the old-fashioned way, providing an impetus for new generations of designers to emulate.

Zumitz screen by Aki.
Julia Chair, inspired by grandma’s bamboo chair made of rattan, PE and wood. Designed by Ito Kish, Philippines.


Avalon, the mat combining modern appearance with familiar weaving techniques by PDM Brand.


Story of the Forest

Some beautiful works of art are inspired by nature. This part of the SACICT craft trend 2017 deals with how natural elements are incorporated in the making of contemporary style handicrafts.

Charcoal vase from Innovative Craft Award 2016 by SACICT.
Nano Bio Ravana, the art piece combining the handicraft from pure cellolose fiber, Acetobacter Xylinum by using the broken-milled rice. From Innovative Craft Award 2016 by SACICT.
Bio-Vide, table top made of the fallen leaves and resin through hot-press. Designed by Takuma Yamazaki.
Home accessories inspired by the chicken cage in traditional Thai style. From Thai Navatasilp by SACICT.

Photo credit : SACICT Craft Trend Book 2017