Craft Platforms: Case studies Tatara Huayao Cultural and Creative StudioJuly 19, 2020 2020-11-15 9:28
Craft Platforms: Case studies Tatara Huayao Cultural and Creative Studio
Tatala Huayao Cultural and Creative Studio
- Tatala Huayao Cultural and Creative Studio mainly works on the inheritance and innovation of traditional culture, including Huayao cross-stitch and local legends of Xupu mountain, and Taoist culture. The studio aims at inheriting the traditional culture and designing products keeping up with the current trend.
- The studio develops the selling method of combining the online services and offline services, integrating the traditional culture promotion, products design, manufacture, and sales. The studio focused on the design and development of Huayao ethnic-style product, developing a series of cultural-derived creative products, which helps solve the problem of Huayao cross-stitch inheritance, promote the development of the local tourist industry, and provide more employment opportunities in Yao-inhabited regions.
- The improving of traditional culture is based on the inheritance of traditional culture and aims at integrating the cross-stitch into modern life, which simplifies the cross-stitch to fit with the modern aesthetic standards.
Figure 1: (Left) Logo of Tatara Huayao Studio (Right) Chen kun peng himself and his work
In 2016, Kunpeng Chen and her wife Xiayin Huang, who are both costume designers, went back to their home in Longtan town. The set up the Tatala Huayao Cultural and Creative Studio, which committed to the local folk-art research and cultural-derived product design. The Tatala studio has launched products including Huayao-style bags, clothing, shoes, handicrafts, and other special items. It has 2 designers and 10 workers, located in Xinxing street, Huaihua.
Figure 2: (Left) Studio overview
DIGITAL ‘TOUCH POINTS’
Use of Digital equipment
The process of pattern design is made by handwork. High definition printing and thermal transfer technologies will be used in the later work of derived product design.
The digital devices used by Tatala studio include graphic tablets, iPad, mobile phones, and printing machines. The graphic tablets and iPad are used for drawing illustrations. Mobile phones are used to take photos and videos. The printing machines are used to print the pattern on the products. The studio also has digital devices for transfer printing the pattern into the textile materials.
Use of Digital technologies
Laser inscription is used for product customization.
The challenges :
- The technical challenges: There should be more multiple techniques to control the heated iron spike to burn different patterns like human figures, animals, and landscapes in the woods.
- The innovation on art form: It’s difficult to find better ways to combine pyrography art with Chinese painting and adapt to modern aesthetic standards.
- Founder Chen said, “Many cultural-derived product have been developed during the creation of pyrography, which has enriched the category of cultural and creative products.”
- They can find new cooperation opportunities, such as one customer from the exhibition wants to buy Huayao-style handmade pyrography works for the decoration of his hotel.
Figure 3: (left) WeChat personal account, (right) WeChat public account
Figure 4: Display of some content in wechat
Figure 4 (left) is a circle of friends for new product design and development (Hua Yao Picking Flowers + Tong Jin).
Figure 4 (middle) is an introduction of the non-heritage museum in Huaihua.
Figure 4 (right) is an introduction of a Taoist cultural derivative (Tai Chi series bamboo ceramic coasters).
Figure 5: Part of the content in WeChat
Figure 5 (left) is a completed drawing of the fifth work in “Legend of the Dragon”.
Figure 5 (middle) A small video of the creative process of the new work “Legend of the Dragon”.
Figure 5 (right) The birth of backpack derivatives.
Online sales platform
Their online sales platforms includes promotion in wechat moments and online stores in taobao.
Founder Chen said, “We have also used many platforms for promotion and sales, for example, we set up an account in Micro-blog before and suspended the update for some reason. My wife and I are managing WeChat public accounts currently. It’s relatively easy and simple to operate, we can decide the contents and layout of articles by ourselves.”
Figure 6: (left) WeChat friends circle to promote products, (right) Taobao shop homepage
Use of digital software
Graphic design software. All the original pyrography works are hand-painted. Graphic design software like Photoshop will be used in the process of product design, promotion, and package.
The challenges of applying digital platforms
Limitations. First, the influence of the unique Huayao culture is limited. Second, the studio lack the professional employee specialized in operation and promotion.”Now I have posted my work on Tiktok, and the effect is good. The problem we encountered in Taobao is that people out of Huaihua hardly know Huayao, let alone their culture. People may learn a few things about Yao people, but few of them know about Huayao cross-stitch (a Huayao culture). In the beginning, our shop has designed a lot of derived product of Huayao cross-stitch, but few people bought them, after that we had to remove the products from the online stores. Now the derived products of Taoist culture sell well because Taoist culture is more common in China and adapts with the aesthetics standard of modern people. However, we will continue working on Huayao cross-stitch” said by Founder Chen.
Sales: Derived products with the theme of Taoist culture are the best-selling products, leveraging the popularity of Taoist culture and the satisfaction of modern aesthetic requirements. The main sales channels of Huayao cross-stitch products are government procurement and private ordering.
How to explain and spread the value of your craft products online?
There are several aspects including cultural value, independent brand, original design, handicraft, and craft.
Do you learn craftsmanship or digital skills on a digital platform?
“I use platforms such as tiktok, wechat subscription, pyrography online learning group to learn handicraft techniques.”
On the one hand, Tatala Huayao Cultural and Creative Studio have inherited and innovated traditional culture. On the other hand, through the creation of a series of tourism cultural creative products, their works help provide more employment opportunities and promote the development of the tourist industry in Yao-inhabited region, establishing the mature process of traditional culture promotion, product design, manufacture, promotion, and sales.
WeChat personal account：SKP15118010710
WeChat public account：塔塔拉花瑶文创中心
Link to the latest article in WeChat public account：https://mp.weixin.qq.com/s/siUEi5GxgQhkjx9n6q-2CQ
Craftplatforms.org has been produced by the project research team at Queen Mary University of London, UK, and Hunan University, China.
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Prof. Nick Bryan-Kinns
School of Electronic Engineering and Computer Science
Queen Mary University of London
London E1 4NS
Prof. Hao Tan
School of Design, Hunan University
Yuelu Mountain, Changsha