A Digital Wunderkammer by Tommaso Maggio & Laura Perin
A Digital Wunderkammer by Tommaso Maggio & Laura Perin

Out // 4 years and 20 pieces

Date: October 18, 2017

In the last ten years I lived only for a total of eleventh months in my country. I have been living in different countries such as Mexico for a short time and the I ended up in the formal Siam. As designer I do collect objects that attract my eye, artefacts, antique objects and textile from all around the world. Since I moved out from Italy, I started a tactile memories of my traveling. Collecting items is a form of touching base with places and people. Textile made from local production in Thailand became a way to discover and slowly comprehend this “new world” (new to me). It took time before moving to a subsequent step. With my wife we looked at artisans and tailors to develop outfit for us out of the traditional fabrics that we found(discovered) by traveling from north to south of Thailand.

The search was quite long but in the end we did find the right guy to realise our design. The conversation among us and the tailor was a bit complex, first due to the language barrier, secondly because most of the selected fabrics were rare. Additionally these patterns, according to local artists and craftsmen, are not normally used for ready-made clothing. It was not an ethical issue but as far as we understood, a matter of nostalgia from the tailor side. The dialogue for each piece took few weeks, sometimes months. In almost 4 years since we elaborated the first piece, we have produced almost 20 pieces. Research of the fabrics, travel and production, all of this had an obvious impact in the time frame.

The idea, as mentioned early was to develop pieces, outfit to wear by extracting the local resource. Yes, not an idea of fast business. Later on pieces have been showed to Thai performers with the intention to observe their genuine reactions to the (the pieces) collection. Surprisingly they mix match the ideal (in our mind) clothing gender, on the other hand they were exited to seeing how we were able to use and twist traditional pattern in a contemporary tailor cut. At this point some will argue where is the innovation? As response I can answer that pieces are created to first integrate ourselves into the host society, secondly to highlight the hidden aesthetic made in the rural village of the formal Siam. By wearing them and by showing the final pieces in US, Europe and Asia at academic conferences and exhibitions it has raised the knowledge of a quite forgotten aesthetics. A tangible manifesto of culture where nostalgia and dream (western tropicalia) are merged in ready to wear but unique pieces result of travels and local micro-production.

The selection of all fabrics was a slow-fashion process. The large percentage of this pieces are sold, we are now working in a new collection. The project is part of Tommaso’s artistic practice based research. If someone is interested in buying these pieces can contact Tommaso at maggiotommaso @ gmailDOTcom

Postcards from Tommaso Investigation on Design as Tool to Reframing the Learning Experience; a Trip among Western and Asian Spirituality, Collectables and local Crafts. (originally published in spanish by - October 10, 2017, (MEXICO) - link:

Author: Tommaso Maggio
Instagram: tommasomaggio