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Moon Installation #No 2

Moon Installation #no2 comprising indigo batik on cotton panels and Yukata Kimono.
Lilly Wong & Tom Scrimgeour in collaboration with Square Roots.
January 2022

We explore the dramatic phases of the moon as it rises into its full shape. As the moons ascend, the darker the indigo panels become sending the moon deeper into the nights sky. The epic industrial environment lends space to the installation, adding to the magnitude and scale of the project and the coming of an optimistic new lunar year.

The steel and pipework feels its way across the factory floor, floating kimono positioned like soldiers, occupy the free space while complimenting the moon phases. These wearable art pieces hang like supernatural beings, phantoms brought alive by the light breeze.


Justin Wheatcroft of Square Roots, approached us at the right time. With his new furniture factory nearing completion, there would be a sweet spot of a few days where we would have autonomy of the expansive space to make something before the factory would be put into operation. Our minds rattled with ideas, and the possibility of producing something on such a colossal scale overshadowed the logistics of how to accomplish such a task. We quickly had a working theme and plan to set us on our way. The installation would be an extension of Lilly’s original Moon Installation #no1 on a much larger scale, and with lunar new year around the corner, the timing was perfect. Justin is Co-Founder & Managing Director at Square Roots – designers and craftsman of contemporary furniture.

In the banner design process, the lunar phases are split into 9 panels, with the new moon forming the centre piece. The moons grow outwards as the indigo panels darken until reaching the two outer bright full moons. The darkest shade of fabric was achieved by over thirty dips into the indigo dye vat.

The Kimono installation mirrors the full moons and creates a wearable part of the collection and a core ethos of our company – wearable art.

From start to finish, this was a labour of love – the hands on approach that drives us. Practical work is play and a vital component of our creativity. The installing of the artwork was lots of fun, helped along by the skilled members of staff at Square Roots.

  • moon phases
  • moon phases


The moon’s phases are mathematically aligned as they rise up the banners, giving rhythm to the natural phenomena of our satellite’s orbit around us.

Executing the entire process involved sourcing fabric, planning, designing, painting, indigo dyeing, sewing and assembling the installation. The result is something beautiful made for others to enjoy, handcrafted and validated by the appreciation and personal engagement of others. This purpose has arrived perfectly for Lunar New Year, a connection we all have and an art piece we can all understand and admire; the purpose is to celebrate with everyone.

lilly wong tom scrimgeour moon phases
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Art and Noren

Indigo Noren & Moon Art Pieces are on display at Soma

Soma in Thao Dien Ward, Ho Chi Minh City is now host to original art pieces created by for Oi. Read ahead to learn more about the artist’s work, process, how you can commission your own pieces.

About our Noren and Art

Noren 暖簾 are traditional Japanese fabric dividers hung between rooms, on walls, in doorways or in windows. 

The natural Linen has been batik resist dyed to create the circular moons. The deep blue has been submerged in the indigo vat over twenty times to achieve its colour. Varying shades of blue extend out of the white centre revealing the gradation in the dye process. 

The batik process uses beeswax to form a resist on an area of the fabric where the indigo dye cannot permeate. The rest of the fabric takes to the indigo leaving the waxed area white when removed. The work requires much time, patience and love to complete.

The moons came about after long nights of dyeing, with the full moon providing light and inspiration.

Lillys Indigo Batik Moon Norens and Kiiro

Co founder Lilly is a practising artist, showcasing her art pieces through Kiiro. The large moons can also be found on a smaller scale in Kiiro’s homeware collection.

Commission your own

Leave us your contact details in the form below if you are interested in owning your own unique piece and Lilly will get in touch.

Indigo Napkins and Runners

In our shop, we have a collection of napkins and table runners available using the same techniques shown in the art pieces. They make a beautiful addition to any table set.

More thoughts on Indigo

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Our understanding of Blue

The first mention of blue

“And now have I put in here, as thou seest, with ship and crew, while sailing over the wine-dark sea to men of strange speech, on my way to Temese for copper; and I bear with me shining iron.” Homer – The Odyssey

In all the works of Homer there is no mention of the word blue – instead he describes the ocean as wine dark. This choice of description extends to other ancient civilisations too, from the Hebrew bible to ancient Chinese text, there is no mention or reference to the word blue, whereas black, white, red, yellow and green are mentioned countless times. Why, when colour vision was developed in humans 30 million years ago is this the case?

When linguists analysed this, they found out that in every culture, black and white make there appearance first. They are followed by red, yellow and finally green before blue as a descriptive word enters a given language. There are some strong reasons for this. As black and white distinguish between night and day they initially were the most useful words potentially explaining why they came first. Next, red with its connotation of blood and danger from self wound or the hunting of animals. Early cave paintings are brushed with red pigment. Finally green and yellow taught us to distinguish between ripe and unripe foods. But blue, although notably present in the nature world to us, did not enter our consciousness in the same way until much later.

Blue in Nature

Blue is seemingly everywhere, from clear skies, vast oceans, to tropical birds feathers and flickering butterflies. But are they as they seem? As light refracts across a butterfly or the wings of a bird it is distorted giving our eyes the illusion of blue. The colour is not set. The waters of our oceans are clear as is our air until light works its magic by bouncing through our thin atmosphere and creating a “blue” hue. True blue is very rare and its pigment comes from a leaf first cultivated in India – Indigo.

Manufactured Blue

Experts mostly agree that we began to see blue as a colour when we started making blue pigments around 6000 years ago. The ancient Egyptians loved the the colour blue and used Lapis – a stone mined in Afghanistan mixed with limestone and other ingredients to produce saturated blue pigments. They were the only ancient culture to develop a word for blue before passing on their knowledge to other cultures in the region. However the dye was so expensive that blue remained rare for many centuries. The word started slowly spreading.

It wasn’t until the cultivation of Indigo in Asia and Africa and Woad in Europe that blue started to become more common – indigo being the stronger and more vivid pigment. Until synthesised in the 1900’s it is remarkable that a small green leaf is responsible for all the blue we see now.


Do you remember flash cards when you were learning at school? The teacher would hold up a colour and get you to say it. This process of learning has conditioned us to look for and recognise colours more stronger than we naturally would. Nursery rhymes and other songs sing the greatness of blue and have forever cemented it as the most popular and adored colour of them all.

Kiiro Design

Lilly and Tom of Kiiro love Indigo and passionately maintain their own indigo dye vats, producing garments and fabrics in true natural blue. From napkins and runners to adorn your table, to natural fabrics such as silk and linen turned into beautiful garments, we cannot get enough of Blue.

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Shibori & Indigo: The lovers of Kiiro

Shibori is the ancient Japanese craft of resist-dyeing – a technique used to embellish cloth in Japan for over 4000 years. The Japanese verb Shiboru means “to wring, squeeze, press”. Shibori requires manipulating the cloth by tying, twisting, folding, scrunching, and then securing the fabric before exposing it to dye. Areas with more resistance will not absorb the dye. One can find Shibori in textiles for fashion and interiors. The mysterious and spontaneous qualities of Shibori inspire many from all over the world, as such its patterns and tactile approach enjoy very high popularity.

Why is the Shibori kimono crop by Kiiro unique?

For our Indigo line, we favour the Japanese hand resist dyeing technique Shibori to create our patterns, making every piece completely unique – no two pieces are the same. The Indigo Crop Kimono is made from 100% silk produced in Vietnam.

As with all our kimonos from the Indigo Line, we also dye the fabrics using locally sourced natural indigo in Vietnam.

Why Kiiro love Shibori?

Aside from each piece always being completely unique, there is a beautiful and sublime imperfection to a Shibori design. You can account for a lot in planning, but the element of surprise will prevail, giving you more than what you intended. The aesthetic can often be described as one of beauty that is imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete. This is a concept derived from Buddhist teachings of the three marks of existence. Richard Powell shares three similar realities – “Nothing lasts, nothing is finished and nothing is perfect” This is why Kimono Oi love Shibori.

Wabi Sabi – Lilly’s Long Time Obsession

An early philosophy Lilly Wong of Kiro applied to her art and teaching practices during her uni days; all art students should take a leaf out of the book – “Wabi-Sabi for Artists, Designers, Poets & Philosophers” by Leonard Koren. Eastern Asian aesthetics is one of the most beautiful and sublime.

The Wabi-Sabi book represents a Japanese world view or aesthetic centred on the acceptance of transience and imperfection. The aesthetic is sometimes described as one of beauty that is “imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete”.

How Kiiro uses Shibori

Shibori can be meticulously prepared, with each pattern planned and repeated. Kimono Oi use their playful nature, utilising accident and chance, only applying an element of control and leaving the rest to the unknown.

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Natural Indigo Fermentation Vat ( Parts 1 – 3 )

Local Beginnings.

After Indigo dying for some months now and excessive night-time reading, you realise there are many ways to naturally transfer the magical indigo onto fabric. Here in Vietnam it seems only right to go by traditional methods, hence today marks the birth of our fermentation vat. 

After following what instructions we can decipher, now begins the waiting process, exercising new found patience until the bacteria within the vat are quite active enough for the first blue dye. It could likely be a week. 

With much deliberation we decided not just to keep our ingredients locally sourced in Vietnam, but also make it part of our brand ethos.

So stage one is complete – The vat is alive! It just needed nourishment so on the motorbike and down the road we go, to get it’s lunch. 

The fermentor – The Rice Wine Maker – “His hands excitedly dipped the glass into his deep wine vat, and quickly offered me the clear liquid to sample. There’s no knowing how effective the ingredient is, but after a swig and acknowledgement of the high content of alcohol still enjoying fermentation, we now have enough local rice wine to feed our vat and myself” Tom tells Lilly over-excitedly.

We wouldn’t have achieved any of what we are doing without the kindness of our suppliers and advisors. We are forever grateful to understanding friends and their support. 

Kimono-Oi is documenting every aspect of the dye process, from PH indicator tests, through all the errors, learning and breakthrough moments in Indigo dying. Look forward to sharing more with you soon. 

Follow on Facebook, Instagram for updates. 


( Part 2) A deeper shade of blue

“Blue, blue indigo blue.”

Indigo is as old as civilisation, the cultivated green leaf that can give us ‘True Blue’. This magical process requires oxygen and it’s more remarkable than you’d think. When the fabric is removed from the vat, at first it is yellow until the oxygen in our air turns it into the colour of oceans, of sky. 

Test dying is now producing some nice deep blues. Each step in colour shows another dip in the vat. Achieving a deep blue can take many submersions..

Vat Maintenance Diary

  • I took daily records checking the PH level was at a high alkaline reading.
  • I fed the vat daily
  • I kept it as warm as I could, a challenge in rainy season. Luckily Saigon temperature rarely drops below 30. All in all, I have to listen to the vat and can’t neglect it for too long. I must be patient. Like True Blue, I am unwavering in my commitment and extremely loyal to my duty.

Next week…. we dye.

( Part 3 ) We’ve only got eyes for blue.

The wait is almost over. Kimono Oi are days away from revealing the first garments. It’s been really hard keeping it all under wraps.

We dye in the Vietnamese tradition. Each piece of fabric must be submerged multiple times to achieve a deep blue. As many as 20 times. It may all seem time consuming and it is, but the results speak for itself. A beautiful natural finish is achieved, that will age gracefully over time.

Dyeing in this manner is sustainable and natural. Everything we use is sourced in Vietnam and it gives us great pleasure to keep everything local too.