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Contribution of Films in Interior Design Education by Sarah Rahman

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Tasked with expanding Niko Neko’s flagship café-gallery space in Bangsar, Kuala Lumpur, Studio Bikin design intention was to retain the minimalist approach of the brand within the scheme. The new dining space was stripped down to concrete ‘elements’ along its perimeter, on which customers can sit surrounding a central stage, within the ethereal, monochromatic dining space.

As a centrepiece to this space, Sarah Rahman and Sha Gaz were commissioned to create a suspended paper installation based on the designer's spatial studies. The installation uses 80 layers of 250 gsm watercolour paper with each piece hand-torn manually to replicate the inconsistent morphology of nature. According to Sarah, the idea of hand-tearing at the paper edges creates textures and density for the installation.

The installation was inspired by the Japanese Wabi-Sabi philosophy, rooted in Zen Buddhism where masters prized bowl that were handmade, irregularly shaped, and beautiful in their deliberate imperfection: "The idea is to apply the wabi-sabi principles, including asymmetry, roughness, simplicity, and appreciation of natural objects embedded in the installation. The aesthetics presented in the paper installation is imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete."

"We don’t have a specific name for the installation. We call it Paper Installation. I guess the reason behind it is that we don’t want to restrain our viewers from a particular perspective. Or limit their imagination to a specific situation. Some people called it the clouds, and some called it a paper cave. It’s interesting to hear how the installation forms different perspectives," she opines. 

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