Often people talk about iconic designers and put their fame down to the lack of exposure in the past, citing that we didn’t have any form of internet so it was much easier for them to become well known. Obviously this has a part to play in it, but at the same time the designers that have stuck around are those who constantly iterated their work to the true point of reduction. That’s why I wanted to highlight the work of Byung Hoon Choi, a Korean sculptor who has worked for 40 years to pursue his ideals in the field of furniture and sculpture.
Byung Hoon Choi was born in Gangwon-do, Korea in 1952 and is currently a professor of woodworking and furniture design at Hong-ik University in Seoul, Korea. He has studied design and crafts extensively throughout his career, working closely with craftsmen to make his ideas come to fruition. It was interesting to read that he travelled extensively in the 1970’s soaking up inspiration from the Mayan, Incan, African and Indian cultures, subtle hints of which you can see in his work now.
What intrigued me most thought is the balance that he’s been able to achieve between sculptural and functional elements in his work. Although they can be used as a seat or table there is an undeniable twist through the use of natural elements, such as stacking stones with wooden or urethane components that mimic what’s above or underneath. Sometimes the base is taken away and you’re left with a supporting element taken from nature, a unique contrast. Here is a selection that I picked out from his website but more can be found on the link below. His work is really inspiring and should definitely be held in high regard. Enjoy.