NEW YORK - South Korean designer Bae Se Hwa masterfully steam bends slices of walnut into curvy chairs, benches, and desks. For the first time, his collection is being showcased at a Manhattan art gallery.
The showcase, at NYC's R& Company, features just seven pieces of Se Hwa's collection - which includes steam-bent items dating back to 2010.
After Se Hwa designs a piece with a geometric diagram, he begins to handcraft it from thin strips of dark walnut. He then places each strip in a steam box, bending each strip over a structured frame. Each strip is bent individually.
As every piece is extremely rigorous and labor-intenstive, Se Hwa is only able to produce a few pieces a year. He works alone at his studio in Seoul.
"Se Hwa's exhibition at R & Company has been years in the making," said R & Company co-founder Evan Snyderman in a project statement."Each piece is a celebration of beauty and craft."
The collection can be viewed up until May 11. The exhibit follows Sebastian Errazuriz' transformable, mechanical walnut and maple cabinets.
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