London Korean Links

Covering things Korean in London and beyond since 2006

Exhibition visit: Korean craft and design at Tent London 2015


LKL always tries to do a quick visit to Tent London to see what Korean designers are up to. It’s much more difficult to plan that 100% Design the other end of town as the website is not as helpful in displaying the exhibitors. So it’s a question of turning up, picking up the newspaper-style catalogue and browse it for Korean names. But even that is not fool-proof. This year there was a late entrant to the exhibition who was not included in the catalogue, and I am grateful to Myung Nam An for pointing me in the right direction.

Juwon Seo's Cosmos nest of tables
Juwon Seo’s Cosmos nest of tables

The late entrant was Juwon Seo, a recent graduate from Buckingham University. She had a practically-designed nest of circular tables in metal and glass. The unique feature of her tables was the macrame of elastic bands underneath the tabletop where you could either store those things you are alway losing – such as the TV remote – or place photographs so that you can see them through the table surface. Very clever as well as decorative.

Juwon Seo Nest
Juwon Seo’s “Nest” design, recently exhibited in John Lewis

Seo has recently had an award-winning design displayed in John Lewis in Oxford street: a snug little workstation for the home office worker, conceived in a way to separate the work from the distractions of home.

Jiyun Kim's "Tea Room" compact tables
Jiyun Kim’s “Tea Room” compact tables

Other furniture on show was by Jiyun Kim – a selection of polygonal wooden side tables of differing heights depending on whether you favoured oriental or western style.

Sphyun Kim: A Place in Transit
Sohyun Kim: A Place in Transit

Also present was Sohyun Kim, who works in otchil and hanji and more modern materials such as fibreglass to make furniture and lampshades.

Aaffect: "Funny Stuff"
Aaffect: “Funny Stuff”

Seoul-based Design Studio AAFFECT was exhibiting metal occasional tables and desk accessories. The studio’s founder, Bong Kim, is a graphic designer and works with engineers, artists and manufacturers to produce his work.

One of the more unusual exhibitors was Marc is Brown: at first sight simply a collection of notebooks, but is more of a Christian-inspired Filofax concept – the books are designed to be used for gathering your thoughts to write a sermon or to assist in your daily devotions. You can buy these notebooks through the US Amazon store.

Ceramic lampshades from NJ Lighting
Ceramic lampshades from NJ Lighting

Finally, to ceramics. It was good to see the ceramic lampshades of NJ Lighting again – they were at 100% Design London last year. What was particularly interesting though was to see two ceramic artists showing their work.

Ceramics from Myung Nam An
Ceramics from Myung Nam An

I had last seen Myung Nam An’s work at Ceramic Art London 2015, where her colourful ceramic bugs were selling well – so she brought some to Tent.

Ceramic objects from Sena Gu
Ceramic objects from Sena Gu

Another ceramic artist, Sena Gu, was also at Tent for the first time. LKL first came across her work seven years ago at the KCC, and it is good to see her thriving still.


Note – I’m hoping I’ll get around to posting comments and photographs from the lovely Korea Craft and Design Foundation exhibition at Tent London sometime soon.

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