聽著烏拉圭歌手Ana Prada的〈Soy Sola〉，腦裡浮現一個悠然自得，在山野間跑跳的女性身影，這讓我想起前陣子看過電影《La danseuse》，其中一幕是女舞者們在森林中邊奔跑邊跳躍，雙手雙腿隨意在半空揮動，就這樣在林裡繞了一圈。這首歌和這一幕場景，也是在說釋放身心的意思吧。
Loching在兩年前辭去時裝記者工作並到了京都旅居，在當地拜師學了藤編手藝。回港後她建立了自己的品牌，名字就是「Soy Sola」，這首在藤編老師家中經常聽到的歌，西班牙文意指「I am alone」。
幾個月前我到了Loching在坪洲的家，上了人生第一節藤編課。她的家佈置清簡，隨處放著在各地蒐羅的藤織物已是家裡最亮眼點綴，陽台邊的風鈴偶爾輕輕作響。兩小時不知不覺過去，完全沒編織經驗的我禁不住驚嘆：「沒想到沒想像中難！」這當然只是說藤編的基本技法，然而要控制雙手力度去塑造形態，才是影響成品模樣最為重要的因素，所以我編的置物籃是歪歪斜斜的。課堂結束後她端出熱茶和島上老店的手造糕點，並著我們看看茶包吊牌上的字，就像拆開幸運曲奇，不知道會抽中什麼：「There is nothing like you, there was nothing like you, and there shall be nothing like you.」
Listening to the Uruguayan singer Ana Prada’s song “Soy Sola”, I conjured a picture in my mind of a female running freely among bushes. The image reminded me of a scene from the movie La danseuse I recently watched, in which female dancers are jumping and running around in the woods while freely swinging their arms and legs in the air. I believe it is the common motion of liberating one’s body and soul that connects the song and this movie scene together.
Two years ago, Loching left her position as a fashion reporter. She then stayed in Kyoto to learn rattan weaving. Her brand “Soy Sola” was born after she returned to Hong Kong. “Soy Sola” means “I am alone” in Spanish, it is a song that Loching heard multiple times at the home of her rattan weaving teacher.
Objects she weaves are mainly coasters, wind chimes, and storage baskets. These objects do not have a standardized shape or function, as they are direct responses to the needs of everyday life. Instead of weaving based on a preexisting idea, Loching observes things around her and creates unique objects, for instance, a lid that is solely for a certain container. The designer is as ever-changing as her products, her attitude has undergone obvious transformation along the way of exploring rattan weaving. “I was rather cautious when first started to weave rattan, I was also precise in making the measurement and shape correct. My creative process is now more flexible and is unrestrained by prior designs.” I assume her recent trip to Cambodia was the reason for these changes. “Japanese rattan weaving is somehow like an elegant lady who remains impassive to anything, she keeps her gracefulness even in the face of challenges. I would say it’s a soothing healing process. Cambodian rattan weaving, rather contradictorily, is an unfettered child in the wild. The Cambodian women weave in a primal manner in an open space area; measurement or any other professional tools seem irrelevant to their weaving as all they need is a small knife.
Kyoto is where one attains the elegance of rattan weaving; in Cambodia, one learns to embrace free will.
A few weeks ago, I visited Loching’s home on Peng Chau Island to have my very first rattan weaving class. It is a minimalistic place with the rattan objects laying around, easily being the most decorative items. Listening to the wind chime tinkling, the two-hour class passed in the blink of an eye. To me, someone who was completely new to rattan weaving, the weaving technique was surprisingly easy to grasp. I was well aware that I have only learned the basic skills, it is the ability to control the strength of one’s hands that determines the final appearance of the work, therefore my work was naturally misshaped. Towards the end of the class, Loching brought out tea and some handmade desserts from the island. The tea bags she used were like fortune cookies that bring random statements. I looked at the tag of my tea bag, which told me “There is nothing like you, there was nothing like you, and there shall be nothing like you.”
A life junction is when you slowly bid farewell to something and some people from the past; what stays are things that you truly need, things that truly belongs to you.