Dutch designer Maarten Baas in Shanghai: The art of Burning Chinese traditional furniture +other interesting twists on classical furniture.

Melting-chair Dutch designer Maarten Baas in Shanghai: The art of Burning Chinese traditional furniture +other interesting twists on classical furniture.

I stumbled upon this rather amusing post on designaddict.com which talks about Dutch designer Maarten Baas‘s, recent July 2008 exhibition at Contrasts gallery in Shanghai.

Maarten-Baas-Organic-Design Dutch designer Maarten Baas in Shanghai: The art of Burning Chinese traditional furniture +other interesting twists on classical furniture.

While participating in Contrasts’ residency program, which brings Western artists to China to study local artistic and cultural practices, Baas became fascinated with traditional Chinese woodcarving; this exhibition is dominated by the results of this interest. His work pushes the boundaries of this time-honored Chinese craft, while also revealing the designer’s playful imagination.


transformation-stage-1-and-2 Dutch designer Maarten Baas in Shanghai: The art of Burning Chinese traditional furniture +other interesting twists on classical furniture.

These are mind warping images which confuse, amuse and excite the viewer. Needless to say, these are some very interesting interpretations on Chinese furniture.  Although I am not sure if I would want to sit on the melting ones.

The plastic garden chair in wood is just brilliant.

chinese-lawn-chair-side-in-wood Dutch designer Maarten Baas in Shanghai: The art of Burning Chinese traditional furniture +other interesting twists on classical furniture.

Personally, I like his smoke series in which wooden furniture has been burned with the remaining charcoal’ed pieces  then preserved with a coating of clear epoxy.

 

Apparently most of these were carved from either Elm or Camphor wood with the actual work being outsourced to local artisans. I can’t imagine explaining these concepts to carpenters and carvers who have produced traditional designs for their entire lives. Having worked with many such artisans myself, they must have found this idea to be both strange and amusing. 

If you want to read more about Maarten Baas:

https://www.dezeen.com/2008/07/23/maarten-baas-at-the-contrasts-gallery/

Maarten Baas Homepage

3 Replies to “Dutch designer Maarten Baas in Shanghai: The art of Burning Chinese traditional furniture +other interesting twists on classical furniture.”

  1. Couldn’t agree more. The garden chair is fantastic. I can’t believe it’s plastic!

  2. Really? is it a plastic? I can’t believe it because it really looks like a wood..

  3. The designs are very unique and beautiful are these antique pieces are designer ones. Where can we get this furniture except in China?

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