EXPLOREMY LIBRARY
Art & Architecture
Design Anthology

Design Anthology #22

Design Anthology is a luxury interiors, design, art and architecture magazine, with a strong focus on Asia and it's burgeoning creative scene. Aimed at a sophisticated, well-travelled audience, we aim to provide a reading experience that will transport and inspire you.

Country:
Hong Kong SAR China
Language:
English
Publisher:
Fifth Black Media Limited
Frequency:
Quarterly
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4 Issues

in this issue

2 min.
from the editor

Most of you will be familiar with South Korea’s major exports — skincare products, street fashion, powerful tech and automotive corporations, and K-pop — but you may be less au fait with the country’s burgeoning creative community, and the nuances that differentiate Korean design and architecture from that which originates beyond its borders. Often the underdog to former colonial ruler Japan, or overlooked in favour of its more populous and powerful neighbour China, the country has survived war, poverty and political upheaval. Despite, or because of, these challenges, the South Koreans are a proud people — and my feeling is they have plenty to be proud of. This issue opens with an essay by repatriated resident Inès Cho, who explains the origins and history of Korean aesthetics, providing a lens through…

2 min.
openings

BendangArtisan, Kuala Lumpur It’s not surprising that ceramic artist Rozana Musa grew up playing with the clay from a riverbed behind her grandmother’s home in Malacca. Fast forward to today and Musa’s brand BendangArtisan’s new space now occupies a former grocery store owned by that very same grandmother. Established in collaboration with designer Imaya Wong, the brand offers several collections of ceramic table and homewares, as well as bespoke items for commercial clients. Each piece starts with a specially made clay that is either moulded or hand-shaped and then finished by hand in unique glazes and finishes — the results of Musa’s passion for experimentation. @bendangstudio_official Rimadesio, Hangzhou In collaboration with local partner The Madison Group, Italian brand Rimadesio recently inaugurated its third showroom in China. The 200-square-metre space in central Hangzhou houses coordinated displays…

4 min.
products

Origin Singaporean designer and brand maker Gabriel Tan first visited Portugal in 2014 on holiday, with the intention of exploring the landscape and beaches like most tourists do. Instead, he ended up discovering the workshops of local artisans and the country’s rich history of working with ceramics, glass, wood, textiles, leather and stone. From these encounters, Tan saw the opportunity to create a collection of contemporary objects by international designers working in collaboration with Portuguese artisans. The designers include Tan himself, Rui Alves, Pauline Deltour, Nuno Grade, Hallgeir Homstvedt, Ladies & Gentlemen Studio, Zoë Mowat, Hugo Passos and Suave. ‘Origin aspires to bring a greater sense of tactility back to everyday life and deepen the relationship between people and their objects. Materials that are rough in texture, with natural imperfections, or handmade…

7 min.
read

[UN]Precedented Pyongyang by Dongwoo Yim, edited with Jelena Prokopljevic and Rafael Luna (Actar Publishers) It’s a rarity in urban planning to have such a clear case study of a large modern city built to a particular principle. But the devastation wrought on North Korea during the 1950–53 war, when all of its cities were levelled, gave its citizens a tabula rasa for their capital, which they rebuilt based on a socialist model. This work draws together the threads of this development, interpreting the urban fabric through its physical structure (‘the most neutral lens’), providing demographic information, maps and data-driven comparisons with other cities as it delves into past, present and future, fulfilling author Yim’s vision of the architect as ‘historian and futurist at the same time’. As Yim argues, the city’s trajectory does…

7 min.
on korean aesthetics

The notion of ‘Koreanness’ in modern Korean culture has never been more appreciated than it is now. What was once dismissed as a thing of the past has been brought back to life — minus the systems that made the country poor, beliefs that separated men and women, and customs that hindered progress towards modernity — through creative endeavours, individual and collective. But the question of how exactly to define Korean aesthetics and recontextualise the Korean tradition in contemporary life has challenged the arbiters of Korean culture and arts, who, like ordinary citizens, are accustomed to Westernised lifestyles. One of the most referenced tropes in Korean culture and arts today is the reinterpretation of the Korean tradition with modern sensibilities; indeed, critics point out that the term explains just about any…

3 min.
master maker

Moon jars (dal hangari) date back to Korea’s Joseon Dynasty, a period when closed ports isolated the Confucian nation from foreign influence. At the time, the spherical white jars existed as simple household objects for storing perishables. Centuries later, in 1947, potter Bernard Leach gifted his moon jar (made by an anonymous Korean artisan and purchased from an antique shop) to fellow pioneer of modern British ceramics Lucie Rie with a note that read ‘Keep the Corean pot in memory’. Most porcelain objects from the Joseon era are unmarked, since an appreciation of ceramics’ aesthetic qualities didn’t yet exist, and ideals of beauty in frugality, modesty and pragmatism were prioritised over design. ‘For a modern ceramicist like myself, it’s not only about safekeeping the techniques. I remind myself of the tension…