How does it feel to graduate?
Praejeen: Indeed, it excites me! For me, it feels like I'm still a student but learning in a boundless classroom since there are so many issues in the fashion and textile industry that I would like to explore further. Nevertheless, I hope to begin the new chapter of my life journey in Helsinki, which is different in various aspects from my hometown, Bangkok. It would be intriguing to see how my experience and background could complement the design opportunity here.
Yun-Jung: This is probably my first time not hundred percent sure what my next step is. Indeed, there are many uncertainties and doubts, but this year is like a gap year, which I spend more time on trying new things, including this exhibition and some competitions. I still very much like designing textiles and garments, so I will try my best to stay in this field and hopefully more opportunities will come.
How did you start the collaboration?
Praejeen: I was suggested by a professor from Aalto University to check out Yun-Jung's Master's thesis, since using natural dyes is our common interest. Then I approached her. That's how we know each other and we have still kept in touch since then. Afterward, I was thinking about exhibiting my Master's thesis and looking for a person who would be interested in the collaboration. Of course, Yun-Jung's name came first to my mind.
Yun-Jung: I didn't think about exhibiting my work at the beginning, because the collection itself does not contain enough items to hold an individual exhibition in my point of view. However, later on, Praejeen asked me if I want to do a co-exhibition with her, and I agreed and was glad that our works do compensate and resonate each other's, then everything starts to take shapes slowly.
What are you looking forward to in terms of the future?
Praejeen: I'm looking forward to integrating the alternative for a more sustainable approach to the textile design industry. For instance, the collaboration between the food and textile community could be a promising future that is beneficial for both industries. In that case, I'd love to work in a multidisciplinary team to broaden the possibilities and ideas.
Yun-Jung: My life in Finland has changed me in many ways, including my approaches and thoughts to design. I hope my following work, no matter individual or in group, has great balance on supporting sustainability and artistic thoughts. And, perhaps one day, when I find the concept and reason to convince myself of starting my own label, I will gladly make actions to achieve it.