Rediscovering Tradition – Jung Hoon Lee

The South Korean designer blends ancient hanok elegance with contemporary design in a modern furniture context

“The allure of objects steeped in history offers comforting nostalgia, evoking a sense of familiarity and connection.” Designer Jung-hoon Lee’s [Heritage Gwol] series embodies this sentiment, blending modern craftsmanship with the timeless essence of antique heritage. This collection of contemporary craft furniture seamlessly integrates into everyday life while emanating an ancient aura. Inspired by the symbolic forms and colours of Korea’s traditional hanok architecture, the [Heritage Gwol] series offers a modern reinterpretation of the age-old beauty inherent in hanok. This exploration particularly delves into Giwa, the roof tiles crafted from soil or cement that are emblematic of hanok structures.

The series aims to capture the aesthetic allure found in various Giwa types, the structural elegance supporting the roof, and the delicate curves intrinsic to hanok design. These elements combine to create furniture that reflects the subtle sophistication of Korea’s cultural heritage through a contemporary lens.

“Amid the rise of ‘glocalism’ – blending global and local influences – there’s a growing interest in researching and celebrating traditional cultures worldwide. 

This movement fosters a renewed appreciation for each country’s heritage, driving the exploration of new aesthetic forms and functional designs relevant to modern life.” says the designer. In response to this trend, Lee reimagines Korea’s unique cultural and aesthetic sensibilities, adapting them to align with global design trends. 

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