Intriguing sculptures and functional furniture pieces that pair metal with stone, wood, or leather.
South Korean designer and artist Sisan Lee (1995) founded his own design practice in 2018. Through his studio, he creates a variety of objects that range from sculpture to furniture and lighting. In his work, Sisan Lee explores conflicting concepts and ideas, such as the natural and the man-made or past and present, while also using tactile materials and experimental techniques. Organic and industrial elements come together in the Proportions of Stone (2019) and the Stone Pagoda (2021) series.
To make the Proportions of Stone series of functional furniture pieces that double as artworks, the artist and designer uses found rocks. He then creates the steel elements to match the shape and size of each boulder. The components stand in a stark contrast but also create a perfect balance in a nod to the artist’s exploration of the relationship between nature and artifact. This collection comprises chairs and tables as well as shelving. In these practical sculptures, the stones and the steel play a dual role: aesthetic and structural.
Designs inspired by nature, tradition and artifacts.
Inspired by traditional Korean pagodas, the Stone Pagoda series features stacked steel floors which house individual rocks. Each composition has a different height and number of levels. Like the artist’s other creations, these towers need both the steel structure and the weight of the stone to stand securely. In the Neo-Primitive (2022) series, the artist explores the fragility of nature and the relationship between primitiveness and modernity. Using branches, twigs, and tree trunks, Sisan Lee then sand-casts the natural elements in aluminum.
The resulting pieces are undoubtedly raw and organic, displaying the textures and irregular surfaces of the solid wood. At the same time, they borrow the solidity and unchanging nature of aluminum, creating an intriguing link between the two. The artist’s other work includes the Inlay (2020) series of furniture that boasts inlaid leather in stainless steel volumes, and Balance (2019), a table that only stands when a large boulder becomes a counterweight for a cantilevered iron structure. Photography © Sisan Lee.