Citizen of Nowhere announces its first “underdog” Thai craft collaboration featuring textile works from autistic artists
Bangkok, Thailand (21 April 2021) – Citizen of Nowhere, in partnership with the non-profit group Heartist, announces the release of a limited edition, hand-woven textile collection, all created by autistic artists in Thailand using hill tribe fabrics. This collaboration is the first of many such projects planned by Citizen of Nowhere, a company created by Saran Yen Panya of 56th Studio fame in Bangkok.
Having developed 56th Studio into a successful creative agency, Saran Yen is now pursuing a more personal endeavor with Citizen of Nowhere. The goal of this new company is to build awareness and appreciation of the many local crafters throughout Thailand, who, due to technological challenges or limited marketing know-how, are unable to present their creations to a wider audience.
Sustainability is a central principle of Citizen of Nowhere projects. Income generated by craft sales will not only ensure that the Company can continue their mission, but also means the crafts people will earn a fair income for their creations through profit sharing.
For Citizen of Nowhere collaborations, Saran Yen and his team look for special artisanal products with a modern vibe, but which are uniquely Thai. As he explains on the Company’s Instagram page, “time-consuming craftsmanship such as hand woven, organically dyed, handmade or locally produced textiles” are their focus. Mass-produced products are not part of his vision, as Citizen of Nowhere is determined to work with local artisans who produce in small amounts, and who take great pride in their craft. Saran Yen uses the term “underdogs” to describe these unique individuals and their creative works.
He explains “For me, being the underdog equals being underrated and underappreciated — and it only makes sense to shine a light on something that has not yet been properly shown.”
The current collaboration with Heartist illustrates the Company’s unconventional approach by spotlighting a largely unfamiliar group of artisans – all autistic individuals – and the modern, inviting spin they put on otherwise traditional hill tribe textiles. Heartist maintains a group of passionate volunteers who work with autistic people throughout Thailand, using textile weaving as a tool in therapy.
The resulting textile crafts – and most are one-of-a-kind – are in turn blended with Citizen of Nowhere’s modern, post-punk aesthetic, for everyday lifestyle products that are “anti-trend and meaningful” according to Saran Yen. Notably, part of the profit from sales will be given to Heartist to further their volunteer work.
For future collaborations, Saran Yen and his team will continue to assist and spotlight other “underdog” Thai artisans whose handmade works deserve a wider audience. He describes the Company’s approach this way:
“Our definition of ‘underdogs’ is pretty vast and conceptual — it could be interpreted in economical, sociological, political, or environmental terms as well. And that’s exactly our roadmap.”
For more about the Citizen of Nowhere X Heartist textiles, including photos and ordering information, visit the Citizen of Nowhere Line Shop https://shop.line.me/
Find the Citizen of Nowhere Instagram page at @citizenofnowhere_craft
For more information, please contact:
Total Quality PR (Thailand) Co., Ltd.
Tel +66 (0) 2260 5820 Ext. 121 or +66 (0) 92 492 5565