A PAssionAte AffAir by fjzhangweiqun


DESIGNA PA s s i o nAt e A f fA i r

Welcome to the exquisite World of hand-                                                                         the golden land – a short introduction
crafted furniture and objects of design
from burma – Welcome to bamar design!

Myanmar, former Burma, an extraordinary country, has enchanted and fascinated travellers from all over the                                                    Boardered by India, China, Laos, Thailand and in the south by
world for centuries. Populated by the Bamar it has produced a wide variety of handicrafts. The technique                                                      the Andaman Sea, Myanmar fascinates visitors by its immense
and the creativity of their lacquering art is highly impressive.                                                                                              cultural variety and the beautiful, almost biblical landscape.
                                                                                                                                                              A very provincial town Pyinmana was made seat of the
For centuries the skill has been passed on from generation to generation. Improved to the highest                                                             government Nov 2005. The former capital Yangon, a bustling
professional standard, designs and shapes nevertheless have remained the very same since imperial times                                                       city, hosts the magnificent building the Golden Shwedagon
up to nowadays. Still now all is hand made with the use of natural products. The basic material is bamboo                                                     Pagoda.
harvested in Myanmar, processed to wickerwork, then carefully hand lacquered and transformed into the
most refined objects of art such as offering bowls, items for practical use and last but not least furniture.                                                 A sunset at Shwedagon Pagoda is more than a memory for a
                                                                                                                                                              lifetime. It is mystic, it will never let you go.
What makes BAMAR DESIGN objects different from other Asian lacquer objects?
                                                                                                                                                              Buddhism is naturally integrated into the everyday life of all
We use the traditional techniques for lacquer application on small furniture, on different items for everyday                                                 Burmese, from child to great grandparent. It shapes the gentle
use, and on a variety of decorative objects. BAMAR DESIGN adapts the decoration and the style of the                                                          and pleasant character of all Burmese. More than 52 million
furniture to Western taste. The unusual and very special effects of the surface, even of plain designer         the shwedagon Pagoda in Yangoon               inhabitants originating from 50 different tribes and peoples live
furniture, are unrivaled by any modern lacquering techniques.                                                                                                 in this country which is about twice the size of Germany

                                                                                                                On Lake Inle, where the Shan people live, one is amazed by the floating gardens and the leg rowers who
                                                                                                                throw their fishing nets while skillfully balancing on one leg.

                                                                                                                A pictoresque upcountry drive through „Switzerland of Myanmar“
                                                                                                                takes you to Pindaya and its famous caves with thousands of
                                                                                                                stone carved golden Buddhas.

                                                                                                                In the hills overlooking a lovely lake live the Taungyo people, of
                                                                                                                Birman origin. For generations these families have been making
we stand for:                                                                                                   the famous umbrellas from bamboo, cotton or mulberrypaper,
– exclusive and special objects hand-picked from all over Myanmar                                               using fermented persimmon for the glue. This pictoresque region
– Ancient skill and traditional burmese techniques                                                              of Myanmar is not yet overrun by an invasion of tourists and is
  for individually ordered and designed items                                                                   perfect for hiking and meditating with monks in their modest
– support of charity work in Myanmar                                                                            monasteries. Again and again you come across pagodas, old
                                                                                                                ruins and ladies in the most colorful traditional costumes.

                                                                                                                The vital nerve of this country is the Ayeyarwady river . One of its
                                                                                                                principal sources springs in the southern Himalayas in the south        foot-rowing fisherman on lake inle
                                                                                                                east of Tibet, and it flowes into the Andaman sea southwest of
Yours truly                                                                                                     Yangon, through a wide, 9-channel delta.

                                                                                                                                                              On this river lies mystic Bagan, one of the most extraordinary
                                                                                                                                                              religious and historic sites of the world, with an unparalleled
                                                                                                                                                              number of temples and pagodas, all sumptuously decorated.
                                                                                                                                                              Where ever you go you encounter holy remains of the ancient
                                                                                                                                                              emperor city and its pagodas. All this in a biblical landscape. As
Verena Bär-Deucher                                                                                                                                            far as the eye can see there are pointed towers in white or gold
CEO and Founder of Bamar Design                                                                                                                               or sandstone color.

                                                                                                                                                              Bagan is the home of the lacquer industry. The traditional
                                                                                                                                                              antique techniques of fabrication are still applied, which makes
                                                                                                                                                              Myanmar lacquerware so special and different from other Asian
                                                                                                                                                              lacquerware. Containers, offering bowls for Buddha, or wood
                                                                                                                                                              furnture – all are hand lacquered and skillfully decorated with
                                                                                                                                                              beautiful artistic designs.
                                                                                                                Buddha statues in the caves of Pindaya

For generations the most beautiful lacquer items are made here.                                                 bamar design =
This skill is passed on from family to family, from generation to
                                                                                                                taYlor made laquerWare
generation. All is handwork and only natural products are used.

                                                                                                                Every single item is handmade still today. The old, traditional shapes
An exceptional, idyllic Ayeyarwady river trip takes us to
                                                                                                                and designs of the different objects are still the very same since ancient
Mandalay, the last imperial city, impressive in its elegance,
                                                                                                                times. The basic material on which the lacquer is applied, is usually woven
with the old palace dominating the heart of the city. Surrounded
                                                                                                                bamboo or wood (teak).
by pictoresque hills dotted with white pagodas and temples.
Imbedded by green and water the monument radiates dignity
                                                                                                                All baskets, containers, boxes, plates and cups, ceremonial vessels are
still today. Mandalay is the home of the woodcarving industry
                                                                                                                handmade. From very finely woven wickerwork to coarsly interlaced rushes,
and marblestone sculpting. Every corner of this country has
                                                                                                                depending on the requirement of shape and stability. The weaving is either
it’s own tradition of specific handicrafts, which are all sold at
                                                                                                                course, middle or fine. Our furniture is made with teak, then
colorful local markets.
                                                                                                                handlacquered. If desired, decorated with simple, etched
Myanmar has long tradition and cultural richness as well as a          the old emperor’s Palace in Mandalay
varied historical past. Even the ancient Greeks knew of Burma
                                                                                                                The basic color of lacquer is black. It is applied by hand,
with numerous foreign invasions and wars between the tribes. The first major city state kingdom was
                                                                                                                lacquer – drying – lacquer – drying.... layer after layer, sometimes
founded in 443 BC by the Pyu tribe, while the last king was exiled by the British colonizers in 1885. Japans’
                                                                                                                up to 14 layers. According to the stiffness or softness desired. The wide
brutal invasion in the 1930’s left deep traces. In 1958 General Ne Win was elected and, closing the borders,
                                                                                                                variety of the final appearance is achieved by adding natural color, or applying
drove the country downhill with his brand of extreme socialism. An attempt to bring democracy to Myanmar
                                                                                                                several layers of different colors on top of the last lacquer layer. The most common
by Aung San Suu Kyi failed. The military regime remains in power and the economy is in terrible shape with
                                                                                                                decoration is etching. Many traditional patterns are skillfully etched, so that for instance the
an international embargo bringing poverty to the people. But Myanmar luckily became a full member of the
                                                                                                                red color shows up under the black- green- or yellow color or the other way round.
ASEAN, a door to neighbouring countries remains open.

                                                                                                                Even a single colored object looks fascinating and very special because the lacquer is applied by hand. It
The strong belief in Buddha still puts a loving smile on their faces, and brings joy for life.
                                                                                                                gives it this warm and traditional finish. The process of making lacquer, drying and coloring takes 3 months!

                                                                                                                bamar design umbrellas
It is extremely difficult to find antiques in Myanmar these days. After colonial times the British took many
valuables back to England. Some illegal trade exists via „Golden Triangle“ into Thailand. Very strict and
                                                                                                                Our umbrellas are handmade, piece by piece. The basic materials are all natural: bamboo, cotton cloth, cotton
severe export formalities by the government complicate purchase and export of antiques even more .
                                                                                                                thread, glue made of fermented persimmons, color. The bamboo is harvested in July. Persimmons in May-/-
                                                                                                                                                                    June, then mashed and fermented in a dark room. Thin
                           High priced collector items can occasionally be found. Beautifully woven
                                                                                                                                                                    bamboo poles are cut to the desired size as shafts. All
                               baskets, betel nut boxes etched and painted, sometimes with moulded floral
                                                                                                                                                                    the other bamboo poles and bars for the skeleton of the
                                   decoration. Chests carved or etched, for storing food, or makeup items
                                                                                                                                                                    umbrella are cut from larger bamboo poles. To straighten
                                     and silk longyis, water pots or oil vessels, painted. „Hsun-oks“, in the
                                                                                                                                                                    them they are put into hot ash to dry out. The holes for
                                       West the best-known Myanmar shape of offering vessel. Tiffin boxes
                                                                                                                                                                    the cotton threads are pierced with a steel nail or a steel
                                         for carrying food, etched or plain black, with teak handle. Painted
                                                                                                                                                                    needle. The cotton threads are now pulled through the
                                           tea tables on slender bamboo stands. Pumpkin bowls. Decorated
                                                                                                                                                                    different holes. This skeleton is then fixed firmly with
                                             boxes for storing sets of opium weights and the scale. And so
                                                                                                                                                                    the centrepiece. This same piece has been turned very
                                              much more...
                                                                                                                                                                    skillfully by hand. The shaft with an inserted bamboo
                                                                                                                                                                    spring is fixed to the skeleton, now the whole skeleton is
                                                As the very same items are still being made in the old
                                                                                                                                                                    opened, the threads are stretched and the previously cut
                                                traditional way, same materials, same colors, same shapes
                                                                                                                                                                    cotton cloth is glued on the skeleton. The persimmon
                                                and same traditional techniques, it is worthwhile purchasing
                                                                                                                                                                    glue is mixed with color, if desired. Double effect: the
                                                the new artefacts. They are perfectly proportioned and, if
                                                                                                                                                                    umbrella also becomes water repellent. The color is
                                                done by one of the many extremely talented artists, a sheer
                                                                                                                                                                    applied in several layers, inside and outside. Now the
                                                pleasure for the eye. Must haves!
                                                                                                                                                                    umbrellas are opened and put out to dry.

                                                                                                                                                                        Then the inner skeleton is crosswise connected in a
                                                                                                                                                                        very elaborate and decorative way with black or colored
                                                                                                                                                                        cotton yarn. Finally the black bamboo top with a round
                                                                                                                                                                        cut sheet of covering cotton is fixed to the shaft. Now
                                                                                                                                                                        the umbralla is carefully folded and held together with a
                                                                                                                                                                        stiff cotton ring.

 BAMAr Design gMBH
     8645 JONA


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