DAWN KOH

FOUNDER OF EK­TORY

Home & Decor (Singapore) - - Now - VISIT EK­TORY AT 50 NIVEN ROAD, TEL: 9181- 6723, WWW. EK­TORY. COM .

Known es­pe­cially for its sump­tu­ous pa­per flow­ers and flower walls, lo­cal start-up Ek­tory cre­ates beau­ti­ful or­na­ments, as well as strik­ing set­tings and in­stal­la­tions – all hand­crafted us­ing the sim­ple and hum­ble medium that is pa­per. Founder Dawn tells us more about her love for pa­per, and the team’s vis­ually ar­rest­ing art­works.

What led you to fo­cus on pa­per art?

It was a happy ac­ci­dent! One of my first few re­quests was in­spired by Chanel’s cou­ture shows – a bride wanted a 5m white pa­per flower wall on stage. I had never made a sin­gle pa­per flower be­fore, but de­cided to take up the chal­lenge. I stayed up all night to make a small sam­ple wall for her, and she be­came my first pa­per flower wall client.

Tell us about your work and in­spi­ra­tion.

I am self-taught. I love cre­at­ing and ex­per­i­ment­ing with dif­fer­ent nat­u­ral ma­te­ri­als, us­ing my hands. There’s beauty in that. I feel that pa­per art was lost for a long time, but is now gain­ing ac­cep­tance as a nov­elty. My in­spi­ra­tion and work come from and is for the peo­ple around me, and is based on my re­flec­tions and be­liefs in life.

For ex­am­ple, some peo­ple ask: “Why use so much white?” White is a pure colour, and we are all born into this world pure. Our sto­ries and ex­pe­ri­ences de­fine us and “colour” us along the way. I dreamt of Ek­tory be­ing a “white” can­vas that you can use to paint your own colours and ex­press your­self. So, per­son­al­i­sa­tion for clients is key to Ek­tory.

We don’t put a limit on what we can cre­ate – what­ever we cre­ate is be­cause of clients who are will­ing to take the leap of faith with us, and we al­ways try to cre­ate some­thing new.

Do you have an art-and-craft back­ground?

My back­ground is ac­tu­ally in fash­ion – I love de­sign and it em­braces the ex­treme, crazy and weird. But in pri­mary school, I en­joyed mak­ing pa­per an­i­mals and I was so happy when (my cre­ations) made it into the school’s art ex­hi­bi­tions ev­ery year. Af­ter that, I be­came busy and didn’t pur­sue pa­per art – so Ek­tory has brought me back full cir­cle to my first love. How do your pa­per cre­ations en­hance a set­ting? They can make any place look mag­i­cal. We play with dif­fer­ent as­pects, for ex­am­ple, scale – ei­ther gi­ant-sized or minia­tures. This el­e­ment of sur­prise is what makes them look out of this world!

What is your most mem­o­rable work?

The white-on-white flower walls. When I started Ek­tory, I cre­ated the tem­plates my­self, and when I could af­ford to hire, I had my team add their own tem­plates to the col­lec­tion.

Since then, we have mixed them all up and cre­ated these crazy flow­ers with no re­stric­tions, ex­cept for be­ing white. Ev­ery flower is dif­fer­ent, and they look so amaz­ing to­gether. Last year, we made it onto the “Top 10 Wed­ding Trends” list from bridal web­site The Wed­dingS­coop.

What is your work and craft process like?

It starts with con­cep­tu­al­i­sa­tion, ex­per­i­men­ta­tion, craft­ing, and then ex­e­cu­tion. A lot of plan­ning is in­volved at ev­ery stage. Our re­cent project for lux­ury brand Del­vaux’s win­dow dis­play and VIP event at Scotts Square is our most de­tailed yet – it took us about 500 hours!

BE­LOW, RIGHT You can find Ek­tory’s sig­na­ture pa­per flow­ers all over town, from bou­tiques to in­stal­la­tions and pri­vate events.

BE­LOW, LEFT Ek­tory of­fers seven prod­ucts and ser­vices, in­clud­ing full cam­paign de­sign ser­vices, build­ing fa­cade model minia­ture de­signs, craft­ing live demos and stop-mo­tion videos. OP­PO­SITE “Pa­per hap­pened to be a medium that I came across in the busi­ness. It is so raw and or­ganic, and I can’t get enough of it,” says Ek­tory founder Dawn.

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