When it comes to craftsmanship, there are few continents in the world that compare to Asia’s rich and diverse traditions in making furniture.
Our visit to the International Furniture Fair Singapore turned up a new generation of Asian names who are harnessing age-old skills that have been sitting right in their backyard all this while.
Based in Taiwan, KIMU is a young design firm run by Kelly Lin, Seah Yeh and Ketty Shih. One of its most notable designs is The New Old Light, a simple lampshade that is a mash up of the traditional Chinese paper lantern and a strong industrial style.
The quality of light can be controlled by expanding or contracting the paper folds.
Matter & Matter
The Korean brand Matter & Matter (set up in collaboration with Muifran) makes all its furniture by hand in Indonesia. Using recycled wood that was once used to build houses, trucks and ships in Indonesia, Matter & Matter creates pieces like the Leg Chair. The brand also has a most desirable collection of accessories and stationery.
Helmed by Abie Abdillah, Studiohiji is bringing rattan furniture firmly into the 21st Century. The Pretzel Bench is a fine example of this, with its contemporary form and sensuous curves made from traditional rattan-weaving techniques.
Studiohiji’s furniture pieces are, of course, made exclusively by skilled craftsmen in Indonesia who have been doing this all their lives. Studiohiji’s products are available in Singapore at For the Common Goods, opened in June this year.
Local brand Democratic Society launched a new range of Usuhari drinking glasses made by Japanese glass manufacturer Shotoku Glass Co.. Named Aspects, the collection was designed by five local design outfits: The Press Room, The Little Drom Store, Hjgher, Lanzavecchia + Wai and Supermama. Democratic Society is available at Supermama.