Tiffany Loy is a Singaporean textile weaver, first trained in industrial design at National University of Singapore, then textile-weaving at Kawashima Textile School. She is currently on a DesignSingapore Scholarship to pursue an MA in Textiles at the Royal College of Art, specialising in woven textiles. Here’s a brief look at Tiffany’s work at DesignArt Tokyo and what she plans to do next.
Last October, Tiffany as well as designers from Studio Juju, Hans Tan and Gabriel Tan Studio were supported by the DesignSingapore Council to have their works showcased at DesignArt Tokyo’s main event, the “1% of Art” exhibition, organised by Design Pier, an official partner of DesignArt Tokyo. DesignArt Tokyo is the leading trade platform for design in Japan which had over 200,000 visitors in its previous edition.
At DesignArt Tokyo, Tiffany, a textile weaver and artist, showcased her work “Expanding Rectangles”. At the event opening, she interacted with guests where she shared her story behind her work.
When asked to describe the genesis of her work, Tiffany explained: “Expanding Rectangles is about using the time-honoured hand-weaving loom in an experimental way: The rectangle is the only shape a weaving loom can produce. Is this a restriction, or a starting point for unlimited expansion?
“If a hand-woven rectangle can be expanded to become a tube, how will this three-dimensional form relate back to the physical body of the weaver?”
Through “Expanding Rectangles”, Tiffany aimed to ask if the analog weaving loom was still relevant in today’s world of automated industrial looms. For her, the hand-operated nature of the process allows makers to manipulate the yarn to a greater degree – to almost “sculpt” the fabric into a three-dimensional form.
Tiffany, who chose to display her work from a high ceiling in the exhibition space, explained that “the orientation of the pieces is ambiguous, just as the way the pure form of the rectangle can represent countless different things.”
DesignArt Tokyo is a city-wide series of art and design related exhibitions and events, that typically sees many high-profile attendees. Even Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike came to officially open the festivities at the event’s hub, the World Kita-Aoyama Building, where the 1% of Art exhibition was held.
It was Tiffany’s maiden outing at DesignArt Tokyo where, in addition to profiling her work, she got to establish new contacts, meet trade professionals, and deepen the relationships she built with contacts she met when she was at Milan Design Week 2019. She received positive responses to her work and learned many things from working with the Japanese crew to install her work in the space.
Following Tokyo, the DesignSingapore Council will be supporting Tiffany and designer Sean Gwee, who is also studying in the UK, to show their work at London Craft Week in May 2020.
Tiffany is collaborating with Gainsborough Weaving to develop site-specific silk sculptures that highlight the beauty of the inherent layering and three-dimensionality of jacquard weaving. By subtly balancing the tension within the fabric, Tiffany will construct a silk that subverts the expectations of fluidity we have come to expect in the material.
Titled “The Weaverly Way”, the installation is co-curated with Sean, an architecturally-trained performance designer, who will be presenting a text-driven mixed media response to the sculptures.
Curious about what the other Singapore-based designers at DesignArt Tokyo showcased? Here are some photos from the event: