Preserving Colorful Cultures Through Epson Textile Printing Technology
For two years in a row, Epson Malaysia has collaborated with one of the most Insta-worthy location in Kuala Lumpur – Kwai Chai Hong, to showcase modern, dynamic interpretation of the diverse Chinese culture with its digital textile printing technology. Working with its founding company Bai Chuan Management, the Chinese New Year installations in Kwai Chai Hong in 2020 and 2021 has successfully attracted countless visitors with their unique display of Chinese culture and heritage.
Photo by Javier Chor
“Epson is pleased to be able to meet the high standards required by Bai Chuan Management to constantly stay ahead of trend by creating new ones. The latest collaboration drew over 1.5m reach on social media, with countless photos and videos taken with the fabric installation printer by Epson dye-sublimation digital printer.” Said Dickson Lee, Senior Manager, Commercial & Industrial department, Epson Malaysia.
How it started
Located in the heart of Kuala Lumpur, project Kwai Chai Hong is Bai Chuan Management’s first project which features the restoration of 10 heritage shop houses and rejuvenation of the laneway in between Lorong Panggung and Jalan Petaling in KL Chinatown.
The aim of the project was to bring people back to KL Chinatown – and bring back the glory days of Chee Chong Kai (茨厂街) now known as Jalan Petaling, while highlighting the importance of culture and heritage of the Chinese community. To do that, the team employed initiatives that appeal to the younger generation through story telling – of history and legends.
“We wanted to bring people back here to witness our interpretation of what KL Chinatown used to be in the 1960 to 1970’s – sharing the stories behind these heritage buildings and the people who once lived there. Art to us is a universal language. Because of this, we have chosen to use murals and art installations as our channels of communication,” said Zeen Chang, Co-founder and Managing Partner of Bai Chuan Management Sdn Bhd.
Building lasting impression with digital textile printing
As Kwai Chai Hong is an outdoor back alley – it’s important that all installations can withstand the scorching sun and the torrential rain in Malaysia.
“By partnering with Epson, we were exposed to the many possibilities of textile printing which became very useful for an outdoor venue like Kwai Chai Hong. We’re especially impressed with the relentless and diligent attempts by the Epson team to ensure we achieve uncompromised results. The consistent and vibrant prints produced by Epson’s state-of-the-art technology gave us all the reasons to want to work together again,” continued Zeen.
In 2020, Kwai Cai Hong first approached Epson Malaysia for its Chinese New Year installation which featured a 88ft-long flying dragon with its scaly body embellished in traditional designs and vibrant colours with a modern twist. After observing great success from their first partnership, Kwai Chai Hong approached Epson again for its second Chinese New Year installation in 2021 – a 200-metres fabric-dye installation featuring the classic Wan Shou Wu Jiang (万寿无疆) Chinese porcelain design.
Photo by Javier Chor
Both installations were printed by Epson SureColor SC-F9430H Dye-Sublimation Digital Textile Printer, which offers businesses the additional feature of printing fluorescent colours using the new Epson genuine fluorescent yellow and fluorescent pink inks. Equipped with a Fluorescent Colour Collection library in Edge Print software, it enables colour processing for fluorescent inks, providing more colour variation that pops.
The Kwai Chai Hong project has demonstrated how Epson print technology can accurately produce the vivid colours and patterns found in Chinese culture with a modern twist, bringing the ideas from respective artists to life. During their first installation, the Flying Dragon gave visitors the first taste of art installation in Kwai Cai Hong and many were very impressed with the vibrant colours of the dragon, made possible by the genuine fluorescent inks from the Epson printer.
“Many were surprised and impressed that the entire “body” of the Dragon was made up of textile prints and not printed wax paper. We then explained that we chose fabric for this installation so that it is weather-friendly, light weight and flexible to handle,” said Zeen.
In their 2nd collaboration with Kwai Chai Hong in March 2021, Epson helped Kwai Chai Hong’s artists bring to life their interpretation of the traditional fabric dye factory with their dye-sublimation digital textile printer – again, this showcased the versatility of large format digital textile printing by Epson in realising creative visions.
“As we have always leveraged technology to deliver our story, it’s great to know that we are able to educate our visitors of the history and culture of the Chinese community, but also share how technology advancement can help us tell a better story,” added Zeen.
Epson large format printers are supporting a growing demand of r a range of applications, from signage, textile, photo, label packaging to CAD/technical printing applications.
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