When I was little, I did not fully understand what “mountain articles” were. I only had a vague idea that they were not plastic products but were various household articles usually made of brown rattan or bamboo strips. Things that have formed my impression include rattan baskets brought along to the market for shopping, the stool placed on the corridor by the old man living next door, as well as rattan sticks that naughty children fear the most. I did not have any clearer idea than that.
After becoming an adult, I finally knew “mountain articles” refer to “products from the mountainous region”. What is more, this craft culture of applying materials from the mountains to the household can be found not only in Chinese communities, but also in some neighboring countries as well. A case in point is the HAIRU rattan basket featured in this article. It is a design based on products commonly seen in hot spring ryokans in Japan. Released following an adjustment in its size and proportion, this new product is a household item which not only has an appealing appearance but also radiates warmth.
Just as the market for mountain articles is on the wane in Hong Kong, that in Japan also faces bitter competition from industrialized and batch production despite its longstanding tradition in artisan culture. Traditional household products can no longer be found easily. The design of this HAIRU rattan basket, created by Rina Ono, has drawn references to those rattan baskets found in hot spring ryokan for guests to put their clothes in. Contrary to the approach by traditional businesses hoping to transform their business by actively developing brand new products, or by blending in stylish lifestyle elements, Rina Ono does not attach importance to showcasing her designing skills. Instead, she purely focuses on minor adjustments to the measurement of traditional rattan baskets to cater for the demand of modern families while totally retaining the original shape and production method of the craft item.
The HAIRU rattan basket collection comes in three different shapes of round, rectangular, and oval. In addition, customers can also choose among three designs including “clothes basket”, “bathroom storage basket” and “basket with legs”. For those readers who appreciate craft and traditional materials, this item is going to be durable household tool that can keep you company in life for years to come.