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Monday, February 8, 2016

Tradition, technique and contemporary craft!

By Udita Chaturvedi
Photography: Courtesy the designer
  
Flow-chair
Working with Bamboo

Traditional techniques, contemporary designs and modern treatment is the style mantra that young Taiwanese designer Cheng-Tsung Feng adopts for his innovative bamboo art…

It is the bamboo’s strength, flexibility and versatility that inspires Cheng-Tsung to give furniture an all new meaning. Over the years, he has created several masterpieces in bamboo, particular about hand-crafting it on his own, after diligent training from old experienced craftsmen.   
 
Flow-chair
Flow - mimicking nature
The 'Begin' stool
The 'Begin' stool
The hexagonal cavity structure
The hexagonal cavity structure

Keen to explore the medium in its entirety, Cheng-Tsung exploits the lumber weaving technique and employs a hexagonal cavity structure for the ‘Begin’ stool, which stands on pointed legs. Equally elegant is ‘Between’, an asymmetrical four-sided structure with horizontal lines running through with little windows. His ‘King’ chair is a simple armchair that exudes comfort and great aesthetics at the same time, while he goes organic with ‘Flow’ – the recliner that has a rustic in-the-wild appeal to it, courtesy the almost haphazard flat strips curving and turning like the roots of a plant. However, it is the ‘Circle’ that Cheng-Tsung believes is his best, and also his latest!

Circle - mirror
The Circle - in the making
Circle - mirror
The Circle mirror
cylindrical structure with a little groove
cylindrical structure with a little groove 

Interestingly, ‘Circle’ is a dressing table-cum-hand-held mirror that uses a single piece of bamboo as a tube to create a smooth circular rim to encase the glass. The designer uses the ancient technique of heat moulding as he reinterprets the skill from traditional bamboo tube furniture. The mirror stands on a chic cylindrical structure with a little groove on top, leaving space to store any small piece of jewellery. The back of the mirror is covered in perfectly finished silk pattern, boasting the medium’s rich texture and multi-functionality through a minimalist design.   

king chair
King chair
king chair
King chair

“Bamboo is a naturally available medium; it’s a plant with various forms and features. You can cut it, curve it, bend it and even combine it - the possibilities are endless,” Cheng-Tsung says about his favourite canvas, adding that he starts learning from scratch for every new piece of artwork that he creates. Cheng-Tsung first learnt bamboo skills three years ago in a South Taiwan countryside town. There, he was so impressed with the versatility of bamboo products that he wondered why it wasn’t being used in contemporary designs and modern-day houses. So in his workshop, he introduced some modern elements to bamboo craft, and created a new range of bamboo products, which break the barriers of time. 

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