THE JOURNEY OF TRADITIONAL CHINESE FURNITURE

I trained in traditional Chinese woodworking during my gap year. This picture consists of my furniture collection. My journey in the six months started in Tianjin, China, where I apprenticed a northern style of furniture making that was more about the generous use of material and carving decorations. During this time, I grasped fundamental skills and concepts in traditional Chinese woodworking. I read many books such as Yingzaofashi from Song dynasty, and went to all the traditional Chinese furniture market and trade fair I could for research. In China, I found Suzhou Style furniture to have the best aesthetics and craftsmanship, with very unique form and proportions that can't be found elsewhere. Even after due diligence, I was barely able to find any information on the exact proportions and approaches used in designing Suzhou style furniture. Through another apprenticeship, I traveled to Suzhou for a hands-on experience in creating the highest level of craft and aesthetics in Chinese furniture. Their style Is based on minimal material, using streamed lines and shifting the light weight to create elegant forms. My master in Suzhou taught me a lot about proportion and design thinking when making furniture, a lot of which were based purely on experience. For example, the location of the stretcher and the angle of certain curves -- every detail had a reason behind it. After thousands of years of evolution, those ideas had become basic instinct and culture.