The rattan rocking chair in the old house, the rattan basket which elders carry, and the cane which is much feared by all children. In the 70’s to 80’s, it could be said that rattan products are a must-have in each household, due to their being remarkably durable and practical. The longer they are being used, their colour and lustre becomes prettier.
Just opposite the gates of Kwang Hwa Private High School in Klang, there is an old shop situated at the roadside secluded by trees and bamboo groves, which is among the few long-established rattan products specialty stores in Klang. Beside selling ready-made rattan goods, they also provide custom made and repair services, especially rattan chairs which is the most sought-after, as well as the majority of items sent for repair.
At just 30 years old, Mr Loh Poh Pin (transliteration) not only is the second generation owner, he also succeeded his father’s trade in order for the craft to be sustained. Each piece of rattan product put the smith’s skills to the ultimate test, as the manufacturing procedures are strenuous, requiring careful attention and patience. Varying degrees of thickness, as well as different parts, each have their own function, from supporting stand, wrapping and curling, to weaving a seat, taking into consideration the endurance and groundwork of the overall structure, it all depends on skill.
Youths such as Mr Loh who are willing to inherit the valuable art of rattan making and weaving skills, are truly inspiring.
Text: Daniel Lim & Pua Hui Wen
有你 UNI Production
Producer : Mok Yii Chek
Coordinator : Daniel Lim
Cinematographer : Amelia Lim / Evon Pang
Video Editor : Amelia Lim
Music : A Familiar Touch from Felt Music
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