Wonmin Park’s organic designs in stone and steel
Wonmin Park transforms volcanic stone and steel into organic furniture shapes
Wonmin Park presents ‘Stone & Steel’ at the Carpenters Workshop Gallery, London (September 16 – November 23, 2021), with ten new works featuring organic shapes in volcanic stone and steel
Korean designer Wonmin Park unveils ‘Stone & Steel’, a new body of work on display at the Carpenters Workshop Gallery featuring ten new sculptural works handcrafted in Japan. In four years of manufacture, the tables and chair in the series feature volcanic rock bases – treated in different techniques and mixing raw, smooth and chiseled textures – and hand-cut steel tops.
Wonmin Park stone and steel furniture
A departure from Park’s generally precisely geometric work, the new collection marks a moment of growth for the designer in new creative and technical territories. “I like to use straight lines, I don’t want to draw curved lines myself,” he explains, citing works like the aluminum tables from the “Plain Cuts” series (his debut in furniture in metal, in 2017), compositions that combine slabs of the material into furniture shapes. “Stone & Steel” is a continuation of this first foray into metal furniture, and once again the designer has assembled the materials with minimal intervention.
The table tops seem to fit effortlessly over the stone, the surface of which has been smoothed to become mirror-like and emerges, impossible, from the precisely cut steel. The silhouettes of the plateaus mostly follow the shapes of the rocks, in accordance with Park’s limited intervention approach, which gives the pieces their strong organic aesthetic.
For the bases, Park retained the expressive shapes of the stone and applied traditional Japanese carving techniques to create a texture that contrasts with the rusty and oxidized surfaces; the combination of textures adds to the richness of the rooms. The designer took inspiration from Japanese and Korean artists from the Mono-ha movement of the 1960s, citing their use of natural materials as an influence on his creative process.
“The whole texture of stone is actually created by unexpected accidents and it’s never the same, and it’s so intriguing to me,” he says. “The size of the stone is essential to the success of each piece. Its linearity is something that nature cannot produce – only humans work in a straight line. The steel adds dimension to the cut line of the stone and extends it further into the space, creating volume and balance. ‘ §