Design is most often influenced by the regional culture and craft. As a curator, it is interesting to see how these manifest in objects, and I am always looking for good example of design and craft objects. Yii is a design projects rooted in craft, at the same time has wit moulded into some of its objects. This project places designers and artists on the same level, and this approach is refreshing, design and craft greatly benefit from each other. This is a design initiative to keep a lookout for.
Text below and Images courtesy http://yiidesign.com/en/collection.php
In Taiwanese philosophy Yii meaning change and transformation, is believed to be the underlying law of nature
Inspired by this understanding, an ambitious design project, Yii, was conceived by NTCRI (National Taiwan Craft Research Institute) and TDC (Taiwan Design Center). It aims to transform traditional craft in the contemporary context through design, in order to bring extraordinary objects to our immensely impersonal environment.
In the first Yii collection, the intuitive wisdom of ancient culture is morphed into the design and production of exceptional objects. Focus is placed on skillful craftsmanship and manufacturing processes that are deeply rooted in a harmonious relation between Man and Nature, to finally propose a way of life that is both intelligent and moral.
“Yii”- pronounced as the letter E – is derived from three Chinese characters. The first represents the central idea in Eastern philosophy: the rotation between the sun and the moon, yin and yang- the changing and unchanging laws of nature. The second one represents exquisite craft, and the last one stands for ideas and creativity.
Designer: Rock Wang, Craft Artist: Cheng-yao Chiang
New Taiwanese deco style, inspired by the aesthetics of the country’s most popular vehicle, the motorcycle. The baroque frame of the mirror is built out of motorcycle pieces, and its inner side consists of 140 readymade motorcycle mirrors.
Designer: Helen Chen, Wan-shan Lin, Craft Artist: Lieh-chi Lin (brass gong), with the help of Huan-chang Li (paper cutting)
An interpretation of a cuckoo clock, where the bird is replaced with the twelve animals of the Chinese zodiac. The ancient gong-hammering technique was applied here to create a perfect sound quality. The animal figures were created by a paper-cutting master and transferred to bronze.
Brick Plan: Vase
Designer: Rock Wang, Craft Artist: Pei-ze Chen
Brick is one of the symbols of Taiwanese culture and was influenced by the Dutch during their 17th-century colonization of the country. The organic form of the tray is created by carving out of a block of this industrial building material by hand. The vases, plates and bowls are also made of brick but by using an industrial technique.
World Cups: Croaking Frog
Designer: Idee Liu, Craft Artist: Chi-hsiang Yeh
The global Starbucks symbol is combined with traditional Taiwanese crafts such as woodcarving, Koji pottery, glassblowing, and silversmith. The recognizable shape and circular logo element of the Starbucks cups are integrated with various craft traditions to give each object a unique local character. Creative input by the Taiwanese craftsmen contributed to the decorative details, such as the climbing beetle and flower pattern, of the final design.
Designer: Chen-hsu Liu, Craft Artist: Shi-ren Lu
The vases in this series are made using traditional Koji pottery and ceramic techniques and decorated with dragons and tigers – the classical mascot figures of the Taiwanese temples. These ancient elements are combined with the computer-designed, geometric polygonal shape of the vase’s body.
Cocoon Plan: Sofa
Designer: Rock Wang, Craft Artist: Kao-ming Chen
Two objects in the shape of a cocoon create a sofa. The cocoon is constructed by intertwining bamboo strips.
Designer: Chun-chieh Won, Craft Artist: Tsun-jen Lee, Ama Hung-pin Hsueh
Graphic designer Ama Hung-pin Hsueh Craft artist Tsun-jen Lee When the light is on, this delicate porcelain lampshade tells a beautiful ancient love story. The fairy-like thinness of the lamp reveals a magical interior of blurry shapes of branches, falling leaves and butterflies.