The Soomkai lamp made in Thailand
In 2010 I travelled in Thailand with my friend the stylist and designer Jimmy Schönning. During the trip he got inspired by a chicken-cage and got a design idea for making a lamp. He called it Soomkai, which simply means chicken cage in Thai.
The lamp is completely handmade in Thailand by the older generation - for the simple reason that the younger generation doesn’t master the craftsmanship. All work is done by independent farmers and no other manufacturers are involved. Because it’s handmade, every single lamp looks a bit different.
The Soomkai lamp is made by bamboo that has been carefully cleaned and dried to avoid fungus attacks and has finally got a protecting layer of lacquer.
I have followed this project with my camera since the start and have photographed the Soomkai-lamp in different interiors and in studios. Most of the time with Jimmy Schönning as stylist. Pictures of the lamp have been published in numerous interior magazines and blogs in Sweden, Europe and in Asia.
Ten percent of the profit from this lamp goes to a home for children with HIV in Dramaraksa, outside Lop Buri, in the middle of Thailand. The home takes care of children that have been abandoned or left there by there parents, who in many cases also are infected by the disease.
The Soomkai-lamp is sold in shops all over Sweden through the Swedish lamp manufacturer Watt and Veke in Stockholm.
All the logistics and shipping from Thailand is taken care of by Ann Persson, who also been involved in the project since the very beginning. Without her knowledge in Thai culture and her network the lamp could not have been produced at all.
We want to thank all the Soomkai-owners for contributing to a better childhood for these children by buying the lamp, and we hope they enjoy the beauty of its handicraft.