yejoong choi's swirling metal chairs are shaped like butterflies on a river

yejoong choi's swirling metal chairs are shaped like butterflies on a river

reviving traditional Korean craft

 

Central Saint Martins design student Yejoong Choi has created a series of maximalist chairs with elaborate shapes and exquisite mother-of-pearl detailing. Called ‘Kkoch-Galam’—meaning ‘a river with flowers’—the furniture project brings new life to traditional Korean crafts, namely lacquer and shell inlay, and shows how these specialist techniques can be applied to contemporary design.

 

‘Traditional Korean artisan practices are currently being phased out,’ says Choi. ‘Traditional crafts get significantly less funding and attention from the government than other areas, and they are only preserved by a limited number of artisans. They are also losing favor with consumers as they fall behind mass-produced goods in terms of functionality and cost.’ Choi’s goal is to rejuvenate these traditional crafts and help rebuild the craft industry.

yejoong choi's swirling metal chairs are shaped to evoke butterflies on a river
Spring chair, perspective view

photos by Yejoong Choi

 

 

Yejoong Choi’s butterflies on the river

 

Choi refers to the furniture objects as ‘butterflies on the river’, as their form is inspired by the silhouette of a butterfly sitting on a flower by a river. Using metal wire, the designer expresses this idea through fluid shapes that swirl around the legs and the back of the chair.

 

The collection also has a seasonal theme and each chair is named after one of the four seasons. Shown here are the Spring and Summer chairs. The patterned shell inlay on each seat represents flower blossoms, typical of each season, falling on the water’s surface. While creating these decorative designs, Choi also explored the connection between traditional seasonal motifs in Korea and William Morris’ floral patterning. 

yejoong choi's swirling metal chairs are shaped to evoke butterflies on a river
Spring chair, shell inlay detail

 

 

maximalist, emotional, and traditional

 

Choi describes his work as an interaction between maximalist design, emotional design, and traditional craft. Using his maximalist principles, the designer hopes to offer a new way of looking at historical styles. He also wants to make furniture that can be easily and cheaply produced, aligning with the ideals of modernism while proposing a new decorative aesthetic.

 

The emotional design aspect is Choi’s attempt to inject humor into his furniture. ‘I am not designing the perfect chairs, but a method that can involve many variations,’ says the designer. ‘Emotional design, in my case, gives me richness and variety, not the universal chair.’

 

Finally, for the traditional craft, Choi analyzed ornamental patterns and the origins of different styles in his free time. This led him to the idea of using industrial production processes to produce furniture that is historically evocative and that uses decoration as a tool for communication.

yejoong choi's swirling metal chairs are shaped to evoke butterflies on a river
Spring chair, rear view

yejoong choi's swirling metal chairs are shaped to evoke butterflies on a river
Summer chair, front view

yejoong choi's swirling metal chairs are shaped to evoke butterflies on a river
Summer chair, rear view

why-use-maximalist-design-to-revitalise-the-traditional-mother-of-pearl-craft-2-62bd9078ab650

Summer chair, shell inlay detail

yejoong choi's swirling metal chairs are shaped to evoke butterflies on a river
Spring and Summer chair collection

 

 

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designer Yejoong Choi
designer Yejoong Choi
collection view
collection view

project info:

 

name: Kkoch-Galam; A river with flowers
designer: Yejoong Choi

 

designboom has received this project from our ‘DIY submissions‘ feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.

 

edited by: lynne myers | designboom

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