The creative teams of
architect-designer Edric Ong and his associates have
been pioneering new designs with traditional artists
of Sarawak in the area of textiles, basketry,
fibers, ceramics, wood and stone.
Under the EO label, the focus has
been on Eco-textiles: silk; ikat; natural dye;
backstrap loom weaving; wood block; hand printed
scarvs, stoles and wraps inspired by Sarawakian
ethnic designs and motifs. The products are
currently sold the Aseana Gallery at Suria KLCC in
Kuala Lumpur and the Datai Shop, Langkawi.
Edric has written two
books on Iban textiles entitled "Pua - Iban Textiles" and
"Woven Dreams - Ikat Textiles of Sarawak", and the
coffee table book "Sarawak Style" with renowned
photographer Luca Tettoni.
He speaks at international
conference on the Iban textiles and travels to
promote Sarawak arts exhibitions. He also
co-ordinates the weaving community at Rumah Garie,
Sungai Kain and the Lun Bawang artists at Bekalalan
as well as Iban basket makers at Batang-Ai.
EO Design marbled terracotta is
another volume of work with a traditional Chinese
potter in Sabah, infusing a combination with brass
earings of the Kenyah, and carved wooden buckle
figurines of the Dayak.
Set up in 1999, EO Products are
now in international collections reflecting Sarawak
Edric Ong is the
President of Society Atelier Sarawak, the Arts and
Crafts Society of Sarawak in East Malaysia. He is
also the Immediate Past President of the ASEAN
Handicraft Promotion and Development Association (AHPADA),
an organization that administers the UNESCO-AHPADA
Craft Seal of Excellence since 2000.
An architect by training, he has
designed several landmarks such as the Sarawak
Cultural Village and the Kuching International
Airport in Sarawak, East Malaysia. His interest in
the heritage of his country has caused him to write
several books eg. Sarawak Style, Pua-Kumbu-Iban
Textiles; Woven Dreams-Ikat Textiles of Sarawak.
A noted speaker at International
conferences, he has set up the World Eco-Fiber and
Textile (WEFT) Network to further the cause of
natural fibers and dyes. He was the Convenor of the
WEFT Forum 1999, 2001 and 2003.He has won several
awards including the American Aid to Artisans
‘ADVOCATE AWARD’; Australia Culture Award;
‘Penyokong Kraf Negara’ or Malaysian National Craft
Award for Best Non-Government Organisation; the
Sarawak State ‘Pegawai Bintang Sarawak’ award; and
received Seals of Excellence from UNESCO-AHPADA and
the Japanese G-Mark for many of his designs in the
arts and crafts.
He has curated many exhibitions
in Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Philippines,
Korea, Australia, Japan, India, France, Sweden,
United Kingdom and USA.
The label ‘EO-EDRIC ONG’
is the brand-name of his own company, EON
COMPANY, registered in Kuching, Sarawak,
This company was formed in 1986 to help
revive the traditional arts and crafts of
Sarawak; and to innovate their designs for
contemporary application in fashion,
decoration and interiors.
Edric Ong has been involved with various
groups of ethnic communities such as the
Iban (ikat weavings, basketry, mats &
pottery); Bidayuh (bamboo & wood carving);
Lun Bawang & Kelabit (Reed and palm
hats/mats; hand-made plant-fiber paper);
Penan (basketry & mats); Chinese (terracotta
ceramics); Malay (batik & weaving);
Orang-Ulu (beadwork, wood carving, bark
painting); Melanau (basketry).
Outside of Kuching, Edric Ong’s collection
is now selling at Aseana Galleria, KLCC
Petronas Twin Towers, Kuala Lumpur, and The
Datai in Langkawi, TANGS Singapore, Triphum
Galleries at Gaysorn Plaza and Siam Paragon,
Bangkok, and galleries in Korea and Japan.
In the United States, they are marketed by
David McLanahan of ‘Jungle Arts and Flora’
in Seattle; and in Britain by Lord Medway,
Jason Gathorne Hardy. Recently, his textiles
won the Grand Prize at the International
Textile Competition in Daegu, Korea.
Today the EO label centres on eco-textiles
crafted from silk, cotton and other natural
fibers using natural dyes inspired by
Malaysian and Sarawakian ethnic designs and
motifs. Renown for his work in reviving the
'ikat' weaving textiles of the Iban people,
Edric also applies the motifs of these 'pua
kumbu' textiles and the motifs of the
Orang-Ulu people in hand printed and painted
textiles using only natural dyes. These are
fashioned into a collection of hand-printed
and painted scarves, stoles and clothes for
men and women. Even the colours of his
fabrics come from the earth: natural tones
derived from the rainforest. The chic,
contemporary garments are comfortable yet
stylish to wear. Everything is hand-made:
from the batik block-printed designs to the
handmade bark cloth and rattan buttons from
the jungles of Borneo!