rough-hewn chic in the designs of kwangho lee

Korean designer Kwangho Lee may have only recently graduated from design school in his home country, but he has already received numerous international accolades as one young product designer to keep your eyes on. And if his recent furniture series “Skin” is of any indication, this guy can rock it!

Though he makes no reference to the master, his cabinets in particular, have a midcentury modern air reminiscent of the work of Paul Evans both in their visual weight and rectilinear design. Using copper and enamel, Kwangho builds his pieces with these industrial materials and then bakes them, allowing the materials to transform by themselves.
The result are beautiful, rough-hewn, imperfect metal pieces ideal for creating tension in a well-appointed space.  One side table or cabinet in the midst of a room more classic in décor would certainly make a statement!
Named “Skin”, the furniture is all about the surface and your tactile experience as you engage with the piece. I had a chance to inspect them in person at the Johnson Trading Company in Queens, a showroom owned by Toronto transplant Paul Johnson who after years of successful picking at the local flea markets has built a solid design business commissioning and funding unique contemporary works from emerging artists, designers and architects.  It’s him we can all thank for bringing Kwangho to our shores!
image credits: Johnson Trading Company, Queens, NY and L.A. who represents the artist.