"Bean dolls of the old trades"
Company:Nanyang Technological University
Designer(s): Jesvin Yeo, Singapore
Category: Other Graphic designs, Professional
User's Profile : User's Profile
Hand-sewn and filled with bean sprout husks, these Bean Dolls of symbolic Chinatown figures (Towkay, Kopi Uncle, Samsui Woman & MaJie) are designed for comfort and play – it can be acted as a mouse wrist rest, comfort stuffed toy, or an information piece of the old trade of Singapore Chinatown.
These Bean Dolls are a combination of old and new; modern illustration meets the old tradition of bean sprout husks, and a combine effort of the young designers and the old folks of Chinatown – the young designers designed the doll and created the illustrations, while the old folks dried the bean sprout husks, cut the fabric and hand-sewn the dolls.
These Bean Dolls are a modern way of documenting the old Chinese trades of Singapore. The illustration style of the Bean Doll is simple line work to illustrate a modern and approachable character of the symbolic Chinatown figures. It aims to attract the attention of the younger generation and act as an educational piece for history discovery, and encourage the young people to probe further into the past of Singapore.
Towkay – was the traditional name for the first generation of Chinese business owners to arrive in Singapore. As natural born merchants, they demonstrated their talents in different businesses through the trading of goods with the Indians and British.
Kopi Uncle – Highly skilled in roasting coffee, these old school baristas would pour pippin' hot cuppas that would kick start the days of many Singaporeans.
Samsui Woman – was a construction worker who fetched materials for construction sites. Dressed in dark blue samfoos paired with a distinct red headgear, they toiled with a vow to live a life without marriage.
MaJie – Traditionally seen in long plaited hair with black and white samfoos, Ma Jies dedicated their lives to servant hood.
About the Designer/Company
Jesvin Yeo, who trained at Central Saint Martins College of Arts and Design in London, is a multidisciplinary designer, educator and researcher based in Asia. Her research and design interests relate to the historical and contemporary cultural changes in the areas of “Asian Material Culture”, “Singapore Studies” and “Typography”. As the foundation of her research, Jesvin employs design as a means for understanding, examining and critiquing the world around her. More specifically, she believes that design questions the social, cultural, historical, technological and formal norms that surround us daily. Jesvin design work has been published in several design magazines and books, such as Applied Typography 22, Wallpaper*, How Magazine, Letterheads & Business Cards 2, Graphic Design 3, and The Design Journal.
Jesvin’s research work has been published internationally, including article and book, in the areas of Singapore cultures, typography and book design. Her work has also been exhibited at galleries and Museums in Berlin, London, Washington D.C., Atlanta, Tokyo, Hong Kong and Beijing. Among other international design awards she received are the Red Dot Award (Communication Design), A’ Design Award, How International Design Awards and iF Communication Design Award.