ZhiZhiRen No. 67 Textile Studio／織織人67號 刻劃於布料上的情感與記憶
ZhiZhiRen No. 67 Textile Studio
A studio that memorializes emotions and memories on textile artwork
◎English translation: Wendy Wei Chang
◎Photos by Pao Chung-hui
ZhiZhiRen is still a relatively new company, but it is constantly gaining in popularity. In 2012, after graduating from Shu-Te University's Department of Fashion Design, Ms. Natalie Sun opened ZhiZhiRen No. 67 Textile Studio (ZhiZhiRen) with two of her classmates. Together they converted an old apartment into an art studio but the business got off to a slow start. They took on part-time jobs to cover business expenses and after three years her original partners had moved on to pursue other jobs. Although Natalie wondered if she should continue, her passion for the design and textile industry made her refuse to give up. Continuing with the business on her own, she has developed many initiatives, creative ideas and great works of art that has made her business grow.
ZhiZhiRen focuses on dying, screen printing and weaving textiles. Natalie has a unique product line, to which she applies her own design techniques. She produces creative camera straps, silkscreened cotton bags and potholders woven from waste cloth. She enjoys creating new pattern designs and particularly likes working with tie dye, as the natural dyes always create new and interesting patterns. After several years, the natural dyes tend to fade slightly. However, Natalie feels this is symbolic of passing time and memories created, compounding the charm of ZhiZhiRen's unique style. Natalie is always endeavoring to increase the value and beauty of her handmade work.
Over the years, Natalie has received a variety of feedback from her customers. One liked her tie dyed handkerchief so much so he wrote a poem about it. Once when she was selling her textile artwork at a street market in Hualien, she was honored when a customer recognized her work and exclaimed, "It's from ZhiZhiRen!" Some customers find the tie dyes products to be a little too expensive as they are made from costly materials. Natalie has also begun to attract a more diverse customer base with her designs that illustrate the variety cultures and lifestyles of the people of Kaohsiung. Over the years she has drawn a lot of inspiration from the people of Kaohsiung and has created Kaohsiung themed silkscreens which have become quite popular.
Natalie also allows artists to use her studio free of charge to hold exhibitions. She encourages artists to stay throughout the exhibition, so they can share about their experiences and ideas. On weekends, she also offers a variety of textile art classes, including silkscreen, embroidery and knitting. She tries to match class topics with upcoming exhibition themes. For example, for the upcoming travel exhibition in October, Natalie will teach the students how to put silkscreen travel designs on to products like notebook covers. Natalie hopes that by connecting her classes with exhibitions, she can make them more interesting. Natalie hopes ZhiZhiRen will become a place where people can share art work and exchange ideas. She also hopes the quality of her artwork will become more elegant and to incorporate more Kaohsiung themes and scenery into her artwork.