Bae Se Hwa
20 March - 11 May 2019
64 White Street
R & Company is excited to announce the first solo exhibition of pioneering South Korean designer Bae Se Hwa taking place on the lower level of the 64 White Street gallery. Since his groundbreaking international debut at Design Miami/ Basel in 2010, Bae Se Hwa has been continuously creating visionary works but due to the intricacy of his designs and the rigorous process he employs, the pieces are limited. This is the first extensive solo presentation of works from his renowned Steam Bent series, which until this point have never been exhibited together in one context. “Se Hwa’s exhibition at R & Company has been years in the making. Working alone in his studio outside of Seoul South Korea Se Hwa produces between three and five pieces annually. Many of the works included in the exhibition have not been shown publicly before although in several cases the editions are nearly sold out. This will be the largest number of Steam Bent works ever assembled” states R & Company co-founder Evan Snyderman, “Each piece is a celebration of beauty and craft.”
Drawing inspiration from serenity found in nature, Bae Se Hwa channels a tranquility in his studio practice and works meticulously in solitude. Crafting each individual piece by hand, Se Hwa is a true perfectionist and a contemporary master woodworker. To create the Steam Bent series, the utmost attention to detail and focus is necessary. Starting with a geometric diagram, Se Hwa individually bends hundreds of thin slices of walnut wood over a structured frame. Through this repetitive process, Se Hwa is able to create unexpected silhouettes with subtle curves and elegant line formations. The sculptural quality of his designs give the impression as if one can meditate or lie down. Each unique piece has a rhythm and emotional harmony that reach beyond their functional aspects. Through Se Hwa’s disciplined approach and continual exploration of wood, he is able to push the limits of this material forward.
Working alone and on only up to two pieces at one time, Se Hwa is limited in his production and as a result, his coveted designs are in high demand from private collectors and institutions around the world. The exhibition at R & Company presents seven of Se Hwa’s most iconic pieces which span from 2010 to 2019. Displayed singularly in the gallery space, the simplicity of the visual presentation allows for the sculptural design to speak for themselves.
Bae Se Hwa Steam Bent Series 2010-2019 is on view from March 19 to May 11 at R & Company’s 64 White Street location and runs concurrently with the exhibition The Noble Line – Wanscher + Tenreiro Furniture Masterworks.