Get To Know Saran Yen Panya In One Minute
After graduating from Chulalongkorn University with a degree in industrial design, why did you decide to go to Sweden? Very simple. I wanted to see something of the world, so I applied for a course called Storytelling in Sweden at Konstfack, the University College of Arts, Crafts and Design in Stockholm.
What is it like being a designer in Thailand? It’s great because we are blessed with rich design resources. I work with a lot of craftsmen in local areas such as Sampeng market in Chinatown—areas with strong, unique characters. There’s nothing like Sampeng back in Stockholm. Here we have a lot of room for creativity. Whatever you conceive, you can always find a person to help you make that idea a reality.
What have you have been working on lately? For 2019 Bangkok Design Week I created a bead-wear collection called Modern Love. It consists of duvets, blankets and pillow covers featuring prints that are actually collages of images from 1960s Thai soft porn magazines. The collection uses the iconic flower and leaf motifs as playful censoring for the models’ intimate bits.
I’ve also been working with artisans in the Charoen Krung area where Studio 56th is located, particularly with a shop called Forkki that crafts metal signs and Heng Seng, a Chinese prayer cushion shop that has been going for three generations. I’m making a collection of cushioned stools with them. I love working with artisans who have skills and know-how that have been passed down through the generations. They inspire me and it is important to keep their local arts and crafts—their livelihoods—alive.