Wonmin Park made his name with ethereal furniture pieces made from geometric slabs of resin, so his 2021 exhibition ‘Stone and Steel’, which explored more organic shapes, marked a significant shift in both material palette and form. The South Korean-born, Paris-based designer now comes full circle with his latest work, ‘Plain Cuts Remediated Low Table SS1901’, which reinterprets his volcanic rock and hand-cut steel designs in coloured resin and frosted glass and is on view at Paris’ Carpenters Workshop Gallery (20 October 2022 – 7 January 2023). Whereas Park’s ‘Stone and Steel’ tables featured bases of volcanic rock from Japan, with surfaces alternating between dark grey and a rusted ochre, the new table has a coloured resin base, created by his longtime manufacturing partners in Rotterdam. Its rocky form was not cast from a mould, but rather painstakingly sculpted by hand. The choice of glass instead of steel for the tabletop – shaped like a horizontal cross section of the base – reinforces the impression of lightness. At the heart of Park’s transfiguration are two principles: a continued emphasis on natural beauty (thus the avoidance of straight lines), and the interplay between positive and negative space. ‘The existence of nature has reached a new stage of abstraction amid technological development and co-evolution of nature, breaking the quantification of humans versus nature. I want to find a way to trace and explore that existence,’ he says. He also hopes that peering into the resin ‘rock’ will give the viewer a new appreciation for geological time.
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