Saran Yen Panya
CHEAP ASS ELITES
21.12.2012 – 15.02.2013

SWING Gallery is pleased to announce Cheap Ass Elites, a project by the Thai designer Saran Yan Panya (Bangkok 1984). Saran Yan Panya productions are characterized by a mix of graphic methodology, narrative dimension and critical analysis. Educated at Chulalongkorn University of Bangkok and at Konstfack Design School in Stockholm, his research interests range from Textile, Fashion, Graphic to Product Design. In Cheap Ass Elites collection, chairs and stools in limited edition presented for the first time at Konstfack Design School, the social status is symbolized by the materials used in the manufacturing. Choosing a particular type of object rather than another is also a way to emphasize to be part of a group; Saran Yen Panya “critical design” comes from the observation of this mechanism. The chair, object icon which every designer loves to measure with and at the same time everyday and popular object, becomes ironic metaphor of a divided world aiming for rejoining. He says: “Combining mass-produced household objects and plastic items with rich elements, the installation sarcastically illustrates and questions what society’s indoctrination is really built on. For this project, the chair is a perfect object in aspects of both function and communication. The object itself represents different hierarchies and tastes clearly in its usage and esthetic. Therefore, the design is a blunt and sarcastic juxtaposition between rich and classical elements such as the Louis armchair, Ottoman chair, or William Morris style, with low-taste elements such as mass-produced plastic appliances, common household items, working class objects etc. The clash of classes is simply shown, yet portrays the idealistic society 
where the rich and poor merge. The chairs are comprised of ‘low’ common household plastic objects – storage and laundry baskets – as the seating -, the lower part of the chair a simplified version of those stereotypical upper class chairs made out of wood.”