BY SCENE SHANG
J.J. Chuan fashions a dress made from MusicCloth®. The water-resistant material is lightweight and reflects light beautifully.
LOVE AND MUSIC helped inspire J.J. Chuan from Rehyphen® to create MusicCloth®, a fabric made by weaving old cassette tapes. What J.J. once used to stay in touch with her friends overseas, and what instantly reminds most of us of “old school music”, is now being repurposed into art, fashion, and lifestyle products in an effort to raise awareness for the rising amount of e-waste.
Read on for our heart-to-heart with designer J. J. Chuan as we find out what goes into this meaningful, global movement.
PLEASE TELL US A BIT ABOUT YOURSELF. WHO ARE YOU AND WHAT DO YOU DO?
Full of heritage and memories, MusicCloth® Paper Cut Animals - Fishes elevates your living space with grace and elegance.
TELL US ABOUT YOUR JOURNEY TO DESIGN, WHAT ABOUT DESIGN DREW YOU IN?
Sentimentally, cassette tapes were part of the medium of communication with my best friends, who moved to Australia, when smartphones and social media had not been invented yet. That period of time, international phone calls were too expensive for a teenage student. Therefore, we came up with a solution to record what we want to say, the music that I composed, and our favourite song that I listened to from the radio, into a cassette tape, and sent it to each other.
All MusicCloth® Paper Cut Animals come with an auspicious saying, blessing anyone who receives it. Framed in a walnut coloured stand, behind each piece is a label bearing the name of the original cassette tape which was used.
YOU MAY ALSO LIKE: What Touches the Hearts of Shanghai, Hong Kong & Singapore? — Louise Hill Design Identifies Common Cultural Nostalgia
IT'S BEEN A FRUITFUL COUPLE OF YEARS SINCE THE START OF REHYPHEN® AND MUSICCLOTH® IN 2016; A SENTIMENTAL PIECE THAT COMBINES NOSTALGIA, MUSIC, AND UPCYCLING. HOW MUCH DO THESE TOPICS CONTINUE TO INSPIRE YOU? HAVE THERE BEEN NEW INSPIRATIONS SINCE THEN?
The Scan and Listen function launched in 2021 and allows you to listen to a special spotify playlist when you scan the given QR code. (For selected products only, art pieces available at SCENE SHANG are included!)
WE LOVE THE NEW SCAN AND LISTEN FUNCTION! TELL US MORE ABOUT THE ROLE OF MUSIC IN YOUR LIFE, WHAT MUSIC DO YOU LISTEN TO WHEN YOU WORK?
WHAT DID YOU WISH TO ACHIEVE WITH YOUR WORK? HOW DID YOU ENVISION CUSTOMERS TO REACT AND EXPERIENCE MUSICCLOTH®?
Mesmerizing prints from the experienced and skilled Rehyphen® team. Check out their other products, they do more than paper cut art!
MUSICCLOTH® HAS BEEN TRANSFORMED INTO MANY FORMS; FROM BAGS AND CLOTHES TO ART. OUT OF ALL YOUR CREATIONS, WHICH ARE YOU MOST PROUD OF, AND WHY?
A symmetrical pair of auspicious cranes are cut out skillfully by artisans, wishing blessings of fortune, longevity, peace and health (福寿安康) upon the receiver. View MusicCloth Paper Cut Animals - Cranes and other designs at our store destinations.
WHO ARE YOUR DESIGN HEROES?
Inspired by the traditional basket weaving pattern, the weaving process of MusicCloth® is intricate and arduous. Take time to appreciate the colours and patterns that are unique to each and every creation from Rehyphen®.
IF YOU HAD AN UNLIMITED AMOUNT OF CASSETTE TAPES TO MAKE MUSICCLOTH®, IS THERE A PROJECT YOU WOULD LIKE TO DO?
YOU MAY ALSO LIKE: Is Feng Shui Still Relevant? – How Up-and-coming Industrial Designer, Lin Qiuxia, Makes Culture Approachable for Everyone
MUSICCLOTH® AND BEYOND, DO YOU HAVE A DREAM PROJECT AND WHAT IS IT?
HOW DO YOU FIND MOTIVATION TO PUSH THROUGH THE LABOUR-INTENSIVE PROCESS OF MAKING MUSICCLOTH®? WHAT KEEPS YOU GOING?
DO YOU HAVE OTHER WORDS OF ADVICE FOR OTHER DESIGNERS OR PEOPLE WHO MIGHT BE INTERESTED IN DESIGN?
MusicCloth® Paper Cut Animals - Bull features a charging bull with a pair of auspicious sayings, perfect for the Year of The Ox. 满院春光 - The light of springtime gently dapples through a bounteous bamboo grove. 壮志凌云 - Renewed aspirations soar amongst billowing clouds.
SO … WHAT’S NEXT — ARE YOU WORKING ON ANYTHING NOW?
Only 1 out of 100 cassette tapes found in our archive has neon end tapes which makes it exceptionally precious. Our artisans spent years to collect and the process required extra time and effort to weave this cloth. Each Neon MusicCloth® will receive a curated playlist for space adventure.
SEE MORE: Rehyphen® Full Collection at SCENE SHANG