Rattan is a strong part of Filipino cultural material tradition and Cebu is known through out the Philippines for its strong tradition in rattan furniture making. During my residency I visited Cebu to learn about both the traditional and innovative techniques furniture makers use.
There I was very fortunate to be able to visit the world re-known rattan furniture designer Kenneth Cobenpue’s studio and factory to gain an understanding of the expansive possibilities of the medium and potential innovative approaches.
To discover rattan’s sculptural possibilities I also needed to learn the essential techniques of traditional furniture making. I spent a few days at Junior’s – a cottage industry rattan furniture workshop which is situated under his house.
The techniques I learnt there gave me a strong understanding of frame making and weaving and it was with this knowledge that I returned to my studio in Manila. There I began to experiment with rattan frame making and applying it to sculptural forms and concepts working towards an exhibition that was to be held at the end of my residency.