Arts & Culture

Women in Design Series: Min & Woon Introducing The Archivist

Experimental prints through silkscreen.
Words by
Sam
Location
Thailand

The level of details inspire you to take a step closer, hold your breath for a while longer and let your eyes feast on the visual delight. Lines, dots and that beautiful gradient of colours are just one of the few things to really stand out from The Archivist's works. A Bangkok-based print studio, it was established six years ago by Min and Woon to produce print work — be it their own creations or through collaborations with artists all across the world.

B-Side catches the duo for an introduction to some of their works and inspirations.

Brief introduction about your studio:

The Archivist is a print studio specialised in a printing technique called Silkscreen. The studio was established in 2013 by Min (Minchaya Chayosumrit) and Woon (Kanaporn Phasuk), whom were graphic designers. Entering its sixth year, the Archivist emphasises on creating experimental prints through Min's screen prints collection, as well as working with other artists, designers, explorers around the world, as printers/printmakers. Moreover, the studio publishes and sells art prints through online shops, exhibitions, workshops, along with continuously participating in international events related to printing, such as the Art Book Fair and the Print Fair.

Name a person who inspires or inspired you, and why?

The designers, artists, and explorers that had come to us with specific brief gave us tremendous inspiration. They are the ones who helped us excel our skills and be proficient in printing because we truly believe, that the only way to success is to do it.

Is there a particular ritual or habit that you do to get yourself inspired?

Generally, after any exhibitions or events, having conversations with the audiences often create new inspiration. We tends to always avoid mundane jobs or comfort zones because we always want to fix, develop, and re-evaluate our skills hands in hands with our audiences’ visions.

For us, every feedback consistently ends with fresh ideas.

Describe your design philosophy. If possible, elaborate and share some examples.

Our philosophy as a print studio is to design artworks that associate with the screen printing technique in order to explain the printing processes and to demonstrate the detailed procedures of screen-printing. Questions like: 'What is the smallest size the text can be printed? How thin is the thinnest line possible?' are asked. Most of the artworks are our test charts that we use to show and compare the printing materials or the different types of inks. The artworks can sometimes be our problem to solve as printmakers, because apart from designing the print itself, is to design how to print it- our main job. It is important to realise that there is never just one way to do silkscreen and that is when we help the creator of the artwork design.

When you first started out as designers, what do you feel was lacking in the process and what do you think could be done more to support budding designers?

We didn’t feel like anything was lacking, although, it is normal for young designers to feel exhausted or questioning themselves about client-based work, personal work, desired work that hasn’t been initiated, etc. Luckily in this era, resources and knowledges are easily accessible while on demand printing or digital print is not rare. This change has played a great role in helping emerging designers. Our best advice is to just do it without procrastinating because it is the only way to make you understand the whole process of working with suppliers, designers, and clients, and lastly, it is a way to finally understand yourself.

What questions do you wish could be discussed more in the industry?

The production of publications or prints that will not become trash in the future. Or, ways to design publications and prints that will last longer than just one day, or perhaps one moment.

The discussion could be about how to avoid printing the physical prints and how this digitalised world can serve this intention.

What do you want to be remembered for?

“For once in a lifetime, you should try screen printing with the Archivist!”

Feature Photo credit: Suthipa Kamyam
Photographs courtesy of The Archivist

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