Burachat Ratanasuwan, Textiles, Abraaj RCA Innovation Scholar 2014 – 2016

Burachat has developed skills in material and visual communication design through various endeavors. She has won the first prize at “Flynow III the Shadow 9th”, which led to her becoming the exclusive textile designer for Flynow and H.R.H Princess Sirivannavari Nariratana for a series of fashion shows. Burachat intends to give back to her community by teaching printed textile innovations to students, encouraging their artistic creativity as well as contributing to the growth and innovation of the textiles industry in South East Asia.

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In Conversation with Burachat

Q: Please talk us through your research/areas of interest over the past two years and work produced.

A: This printed textile ‘Wondergarden’ collection represents the imaginary garden narrative from my own imagination that combines surrealism and realism in a fantasy world. Inspiration initially came from the research through my journey exploring English gardens and panoramic landscapes such as Kew Garden and The Lost Garden of Halligan.

The theme of ‘Wondergarden’ is aimed to create fun, bold and playful fashion fabrics that represent my personality and characteristics through imaginative story in prints. My intention is to create a portfolio of luxury printed textiles fabrics for fashion womenswear. The motifs and elements in my prints are created from non-dominant hand which is from my left hand mark-making with different kinds of mediums and also from cut-out graphic shapes.

Accordingly, these are developed into the placement prints and repetition prints as well. I also experimented with many techniques in order to create a variety of textiles in the collection by combining screen printing, dye sublimation printing and digital printing together. Moreover, I also tried further experiment to create playful relief textures on different kinds of fabrics in order to communicate a dazzling, fantastical and playful mood within printed textiles collection as well.

Q: What has this scholarship enabled you to achieve and did receiving a maintenance grant in addition to your tuition fee funding make a difference over the course of your studies?

A: The Abraaj RCA Innovation Scholarship has offered me once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to study at the best academic design university, the Royal College of Art in Textiles Programme. I have gained considerable benefits from this scholarship over the past two years that I could not find from anywhere else. Studying Master degree in Textiles at Royal College of Art has encouraged me to develop my potential in printed textiles area to be better in terms of artistic creativity, design skills, technical skills and also professionalism. This scholarship has enabled me to gain great knowledge from the best experienced RCA tutors, technicians, visiting lecturers and also from my colleagues at RCA as well which offered me broader, new and different perspectives in the world of fashion and textiles more.

Moreover, RCA MA degree has also provided me the cutting edge interdisciplinary approaches that encouraged me to explore and experiment with many kinds of techniques in printed textiles that I have not done before. It helped to push the boundaries of my creativity and potential in textiles for luxury fashion market through research, process, design development, materials, experimentation and presentation. In brief, this is the most valuable opportunity I have ever received that enable me to explore new knowledge in textiles area and fulfill my potential to become a great textiles designer in the future as well.

Q: In your opinion, how can the textile and manufacturing industry help the local economy in Thailand?

A: Textiles play an important role amongst the local community in many provinces of Thailand. Thai people are skilful in various kinds of textile crafts such as weaving, knitting, screen printing and embroidery embellishment. However, the textiles manufacturing industry in Thailand lacks cutting edge technology of advanced machines for digital printing, digital embroidery and digital jacquard. If we push the boundaries of textile innovation by sharing these technologies with the local communities, I believe that the Thai people will gain considerable value in the form of stronger technical skills resulting in better economic outcomes.

Q: How instrumental has the diversity and community experience contributed to your growth?

A: Getting to know people from different backgrounds and disciplines at the RCA has been one of the best experiences in my life. By collaborating in projects across disciplines, I’ve gained a broader vision and perspective in visual art. The Abraaj scholars have also become close friends, and we often support one another in our work and on a personal level.

Q: What plans do you have now that you have graduated from the RCA?

A: My plan after graduated from MA Textiles at the Royal College of Art is to apply for a job in order to become great printed textiles designer in fashion industry. This will enable me to gain a wealth of working experience of professional textiles practice in global fashion market. Moreover, my aim is to use my knowledge from RCA education in order to apply and share my design skills including the innovative technical skills to educate Thai students about printed textiles to be broader. I believe that education is the best investment for our community that can contribute positive changes to our future.

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