Quarantine Sparks Cynthia Chen To Create Rugs Inspired by Iconic Snacks

Turning nostalgia into creativity is an easy exercise if you’re Cynthia Chen. Like many during quarantine, the Asian American designer made the most of the unpredicted time by finding a new hobby. Well, kinda- since as a designer, she is always required to think out the box. This time, however, she journeyed through weaving up her childhood by creating rugs inspired by iconic snacks she grew up with.

She first attempted making a rug that resembled a can of Spam in September, and there has been no turning back since. Speaking to Apartment Therapy, the 29-year-old said, “After the Spam rug was done, I was hooked. I definitely had a personal attachment since it was nostalgic for me, so I decided to keep the theme going with other snacks that I loved as a kid.”

Chen then proceeded to create other rugs, from re-creations of Yakult to White Rabbit candy and Calbee Shrimp Chips. Speaking about the process and inspiration behind the series, she says, “A big part of this series is paying homage to those designs. I try to pick snacks that have that iconic quality that make them instantly recognizable.”

“The time it takes on each rug varies depending on the design, but each rug does require some iteration to translate my design onto the rug format correctly,” says Chen.“Each piece is truly one of a kind and takes quite a while to finish.” 

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