Eight love seats we ... love by Hong Kong and China artists
For the Hong Kong Shenzhen Design Biennale, 20 artists from both sides of the border were invited to design love seats, and interpreted the challenge liberally. The results have just gone on show at K11 in Tsim Sha Tsui
Love. That single emotion has inspired creativity in every possible form. Even in chairs. As part of the second edition of the Hong Kong Shenzhen Design Biennale, which began on Friday, the works of 20 designers (10 from Hong Kong, 10 from across the border) have gone on display, and feature some surprising interpretations of love. We have a soft spot for these eight.
Annabella by Danny Cheng
New dad Danny Cheng named his piece after his daughter, Annabella. “You know what love means when you have a child,” he says. Cheng’s design, which is consistent with his minimalist style, is of a low, 2.5-metre-long black bench. “The entire family can sit on it, all huddling together,” he says. “That’s how I imagine love.”
Ai Modular by Wesley Liu
Ai means love, and Wesley Liu showed how his creation can be used as a seat or for play by the whole family, mum and dad included. Made up of cubes, it serves as a single seat, a sofa for two, a love platform (think Kama Sutra) and a play enclosure for children.
Succour by Joey Ho
“I always design chairs when I’m doing interior design. But I realise how painfully difficult it is to design a chair that is meaningful and represents myself,” says Joey Ho. In the end, Ho decided to portray the unconditional love of mothers. Succour consists of two parts – a metal stool symbolising the child and a wooden back that represents the mother.
Kiss by Wang Hei-long
What do two people look like when they lock lips? They’re connected. That image allowed Wang Hei-long to create this set of stools, each differently shaped. “Some are connected, just like how people are when they kiss,” says Wang, who says he was also inspired by the work of Italian painter Giorgio Morandi.
Budding Chair by Yu Qiang
Yu Qiang, a father of two, designed chairs that will grow with his children. The height of these chairs is adjustable, and they are suitable for children aged two to 12.
Bamboo Chair by Kong Desheng
We’re not sure what this has to do with love, except that Kong Desheng adores traditional Chinese culture. “Chinese art and literature reached their heights during the Song dynasty,” says Kong, who studied paintings to learn about the characteristics of furniture from that era. Despite appearances, the chair can support a substantial weight because each of its thin legs has a steel core.
Home Nest by Zhang Zhizhong
Zhang Zhizhong would make any bird happy. Envisaging a safe place in which to snuggle, Zhang created his Home Nest, which makes a fetish of angles. Creating this wasn’t straightforward, though. When his computer software let him down, Zhang Zhizhong got creative. “I built a prototype with toothpicks, then constructed the chair using the prototype as a tiny model, he says.
Cuddle by Kinney Chan
Kinney Chan has given form to something we all need from time to time: a cuddle. Featuring soft, tactile upholstery, it was designed to resemble open arms around which users can coil themselves for a satisfying embrace. The design took some thinking, though. Concept chairs, he says, are not always commercial successes. Whether or not it sells, we think he deserves a hug.
Love Seat Exhibition, Chi K11 Art Space, 18 Hanoi Road, Tsim Sha Tsui. Ends Oct 30. en.szhkbiennale.org/