A’Design Award 2019


What is the main principle, idea and inspiration behind your design?

The Malaysian Wau is the traditional Malay culture kite, and one of the national symbols, that represent several shapes such as birds and the moon. Wau are handmade and can be upwards of 3.5 meters in length. When I was little, it was commonplace but as time passed, the tradition started to fade away. One day, my husband and I decided to travel to the state where the Master Kite maker resided, only to learn that he had sadly passed from this world. Therefore, I was inspired to honour the tradition by designing a piece that not only displays characteristics of the Wau, but also blend in Chinese culture aspects to represent the diverse cultures of Malaysia.

What has been your main focus in designing this work? Especially what did you want to achieve?

I wanted the work to show the diversity of cultures in Malaysia, as well as to bring attention to our national symbol. In particular, I also wanted to bring aspects of the Wau into the design. The curved nephrite jade and gold filigree represent the vines in the motif of the Wau. The tails of Tribute Wau move with the wearer, making it seem as if it was soaring through the azure sky.

How did you come up with the name for this design? What does it mean?

The name Tribute Wau pays homage to the traditional kite of Malaysia, as such it is a tribute, showing respect and admiration for an art that has been around for centuries.

What is the most unique aspect of your design?

The nephrite jade centrepiece is a variation from the traditional cultural aspect which is unique. As well, the reverse side of Tribute Wau shows off another different aspect of the wau.