Korean artist releases ‘steamy’ series

Ever since his international debut in 2010, Bae Se Hwa has become a fresh sensation as a young Korean designer. Bae is best known for his dynamic collection of works called the ‘Steam Series’.

This collection embodies emotional function as well as displaying a sense of calmness and serenity. In Bae’s ‘Steam Series’ he utilises a steam-bending technique in which he distorts and deconstructs very linear wood elements and then recombines them into new pieces that are bent and curvilinear in form.

This process has allowed Bae to create beautifully organic flowing pieces that are very much alive with rhythm and demonstrate the flexibility of wood despite its solidity.

Bae’s philosophy is to reach balance and harmony through the use of form and function. His pieces follow this philosophy, each of them depicting curvaceous yet minimalistic designs: a perfect balance of natural elements and geometric construction that captivates and entrances the senses.

After Bae designs a piece with a geometric diagram, he begins to handcraft it from thin strips of dark walnut. He then places each strip in a steam box, bending each strip over a structured frame. Each strip is bent individually.

As every piece is extremely rigorous and laborious, Bae is only able to produce a few pieces a year, working in his studio in Seoul.

Many awards have come the Korean designer’s way, among them: 2009 Gold Prize, Gyeong’gi Furniture Competition, Korea; 2008 Special Prize, The Steering Committee of Korea Arts and Crafts, Korea; Hong-Rim Prize, Korea; Silverleaf, International Furniture Design Fair Ahsahikawa, Japan; Most Wanted, Living Design Awards, Korea; 2006 Winner, Furniture Guide Competiton, Korea; and 2005 finalist at the Cheongju International Furniture Competition, Korea. (www.baesehwa.com).

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