yii design gijs bakker presents taiwanese crafts at asia now
yii design gijs bakker presents taiwanese crafts at asia now yii design gijs bakker presents taiwanese crafts at asia now
aug 09, 2010

yii design gijs bakker presents taiwanese crafts at asia now

image © designboom

  the pieces on show within the taiwanese sector in designboom’s ‘asia now‘ exhibition at dwell on design in los angeles, ranged from bamboo work and woodcarving, to ceramic and lacquer ware. the local designers, merely educated on western principles, have been challenged to cultivate a greater appreciation of the increasingly extinct crafts of the country, encouraged to adopt ‘green’ manufacturing methods, which can assure sustainability, high quality production and an authenticity of products, ultimately bringing the extraordinary to the immensely impersonal modern environment.



traditional taiwanese crafts originate from the principles of buddhism and taoism, which have enriched the culture of the country with numerous legends and symbols. all exhibited products are made with a close attention to detail. every single one of them carries a unique story (ie. you cannot depict a dragon with a lowered head, because it’s a symbol of fortune) also on display, there have been a few “ready-mades” – cheap ikea furniture which start a new life as a one-off masterpiece.

yii the taiwan craft research institute (an agency under the council for cultural affairs of the taiwanese government) conceived. ‘yii’, a new initiative, which aims to stimulate a creative dialogue between local designers and craftsmen, seeking greater international exchanges related to crafts. yii –  reads like [i] – derived from ‘yi’, which in taiwanese philosophy means ‘change and transformation’. dutch designer and co-founder of droog, gijs bakker is the creative director.

‘brick’ tray image © designboom



brick tray and vases designer: rock wang / craft artist: pei-ze chen



brick is one of the symbols of taiwanese culture, influenced by the dutch and their colonization of the asian country during the 17th century. each of the pieces is created by carving out of a  block of the industrial building material, achieved through an industrial technique.

‘brick’ vases

‘brick’ tray image © designboom

‘brick’ tray, ‘brick’ vase and ‘lace’ bowls image © designboom

‘brick’ tray, ‘brick’ vase and ‘lace’ bowls image © designboom

lace bowls image © designboom

lace bowls designer: ching-ting hsu  / craft artist: tsun-jen lee oriental embroidery pattern meets western elegance. these porcelain vessels express a wedding blessing that chinese mothers give to their daughters. when light hits the surface, the lace pattern details come through.

‘lace’ bowl

‘lace’ bowl

‘frog’ (bamboo carving), ‘shadow orchid’ (silver, ceramic) and ‘silver dragon’ (silver and gold plated) image © designboom

world cups designed by idee liu, in collaboration with various craft artists. they take the global starbucks symbol and combine it with traditional taiwanese crafts such as woodcarving, koji pottery, glassblowing and silversmithing.

‘beetle’ (woodcarving)

this wooden world cup is designed and produced by idee liu with craft artist ching-tian cai.

image © designboom

‘panlong’ vases image © designboom

panlong vase designer: chen-hsu liu  / craft artist: shi-ren lu this series of vases is made using traditional koji pottery and ceramic techniques. they are decorated by classical mascot figures of taiwanese temples – dragons and tigers. these ancient icons have been combined with a computer designed, geometric polygonal shaped vase, which plays the ‘contemporary’ role in this piece.

‘panlong’ vase

‘panlong’ vase image © designboom

‘panlong’ vases and ‘rabbit’ cups and plate image © designboom

rabbit cup designer: hsiao-ying lin  / craft artist: jun-ching tang made from black clay, these tableware pieces interpret the famous chinese fairytale of the rabbit on the moon, commemorated every autumn in taiwan during the moon festival celebrations. the rabbit sips the water within along the lip of the vessel; a rabbit is found sitting on the edge of a plate – its stretched ‘reflection’ becoming the dish itself.

‘rabbit’ cup

‘IKEA plus tertial’ image © designboom

IKEA plus tertial designer: pili wu / craft artist: an-fu huang this IKEA lampshade is given a transparent silver and gold plated cover containing a pattern within – portraying a mythical battlefield of tigers and dragons – all brought to life as if in a fairy inferno, when the light is switched on. this typical desk light’s plain bulb has been transformed into a mysterious fireball.

IKEA plus tertial light image © designboom

detail of the IKEA plus tertial light image © designboom

IKEA plus 365+ vase image © designboom

IKEA plus 365+ vase designer: pili wu / craft artist: an-fu huang an average water glass turns into a vase by adding a glass top with traditional dragon motif.

‘cocoon’ sofa image © designboom

cocoon sofa designer: rock wang / craft artist: kao-ming chen the cocoon is constructed by intertwining bamboo strips. the smooth, silky surface of this object is the natural result of the silkworm cocooning process.

‘cocoon’ sofa image © designboom

detail of ‘cocoon’ sofa image © designboom

view to the taiwanese section of the ‘asia now’ exhibition image © designboom

‘bambool’ barstool

bambool barstool designer: yu-jui chou / craft artist: su-jen su three bamboo trunks have been split at the top and woven, with small bamboo strips, into a seat.

‘asia now’ exhibition panel for taiwanese section image © designboom

image © designboom

de-chan han was in charge of the yii projects on behalf of the taiwan craft research institute. he came to los angeles to represent the various yii projects and lend us a helping hand during the show.

image © designboom

unpacking the yii projects – a very big wooden crate came all the way from taiwan.

image © designboom

  • I love bamboo and I appreciate the fantastic echo friendly crafted designed products

    RK Jnanranjan says:

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