Wonmin Park: On Earth
The South Korean designer turns his imagination to glass and resin in his latest show in Paris.
Carpenters Workshop Gallery Paris
Until 7 January 2023
“THE FORM RESEMBLES the Atlas mountains and inside it looks like the ocean,” says South Korean sculptor Wonmin Park about his new wavy low tables, made from coloured glass and resin, in his solo show ‘On Earth’ at Carpenters Workshop Gallery in Paris.
These unevenly surfaced poetic pieces evince Park’s mastery of resin and his desire to echo the organic lines of nature. They also bear testament to how far Park, 40, has matured as a designer since his debut collection, ‘Haze’.
Exhibited at Carpenters Workshop Gallery in 2015, ‘Haze’ was characterised by minimalist pieces of furniture with geometric interplays in varying misty hues. The eye-catching works caught the attention of fashion maestro Karl Lagerfeld, who snapped them up for his collection. In the intervening years, Park has got to grips with other materials, such as stone, and extrapolated the lessons he learnt in order to approach resin anew.
A graduate of Design Academy Eindhoven, Park set up his studio in 2011 and has been based in Paris for the last seven years. At his previous exhibition, ‘Stone and Steel’, at Carpenters Workshop Gallery in London, Park presented a collection of works that ambitiously combined chiselled volcanic stone from a Japanese quarry, with steel.
His idea was to marry natural beauty with man-made beauty – the curved lines of the stone representing nature contrasting with the straight lines of steel representing mankind. Pieces made in the continuum of this project are also on view in the Paris show.
“The quarry contacted me, wanting to collaborate, then I had to think of the best way to work with this stone,” recalls Park. “Stone is one of the iconic materials in sculpture that man has always used, like in Stonehenge. So it was a challenge to do something fresh that has never existed before.”
Park visited the quarry in Miyagi prior to the pandemic but was unable to return due to travel restrictions. Rather than working instinctively on site, he made small plaster models of the works at Carpenters Workshop Gallery’s vast workshop in Mitry, just northeast of Paris, prior to having the stone transported.
Unlike some designers who make many sketches and preparatory drawings, Park tends to work in an intuitive, visionary way. “Everything is already in my mind,” he says. “I use drawings to explain things to the production team.”
What can we expect next from Park? “Now I’m working with ceramics and glass,” replies the assiduous designer. Most probably, Park will again be setting himself new challenges of employing the materials in previously unseen ways, as with his tenacity in treating stone, steel and resin.
‘Wonmin Park: On Earth’ at Carpenters Workshop Gallery Paris.