When I first started work on this project, I had a rough time reconciling set thought patterns and preconceived ideas as well as newly invented hazing such as cultural misappropriation! And thats just for the designing of the jewelry..
Why do you choose a more difficult road you may ask me, just take the tried and tested road and be done with it… every now and then I like to stretched my boundaries as I’m curious to see how far it can take me.. well this one sure stretched me till my breaking point.
During my early research into bornean cultures, I had to fight with my own notion which is largely based on the modern western concepts of ornamentations which is quite different from the tribal way of life.
I am still learning and by no means an expert but my research had showed me that our modern idea of ornamentation which jewelry forms a large part is quite shallow compared to our Borneo form of ornamentation which is a way of life that in addition to jewelry included tattoos woven into a belief system they traditionally follow and pass on to the next generation. However I observed the younger generation though will decked themselves in the traditional costumes, the belief systems from their forefathers have also evolved and eroded.
This collection do not aspire to replace or replicate the traditional form of ornamentation. It’s my attempt to capture the essence of the bornean ethnic tribal culture and styled it to compliment the modern day wardrobe.
Just as I’m challenged in my position as a jeweler designing, I would like to challenge the audience in its presentation. I had signed up to do a fashion showcase for Bachelor of Malaysia pageant and in addition to the design pressures, I had to take in consideration that I will be decking the boys in jewelry. I had to make sure that the pieces do not feminize them nor made them and me the joke of the year bearing in mind at the same time the fashion show is a large theatre stage so small pieces of jewelry will look lost so they had to be bold. Therefore in the photoshoot with the boys I had them shirtless to to display the yang to temper the yin of the jewelry! Some people will see a hot male hunk and nothing else, some will see a male model with jewelry, some will actually see jewelry (and that it’s jewelry they themselves will wear irrespective of gender!)…..