|▲ Furmin / CEO Grace Cho
(PowerKorea) How would it look if furniture met traditional Korean folk painting? Grace Cho, CEO of Furmin, is making the look visible and sells it on the market. She majored in artistic crafts at Dong-a University and deepened her knowledge by taking the Denmark International Study Program in Denmark in 1996 and attending the Academy of Art University in San Francesco (Interior Architecture) in 2006.
“I was impressed by Danish people using designer made furniture, lighting and rug at their house. It was so natural and unique. So, I thought I might do the same with my, or our, own identity. I wanted to make something that is timeless and has unique Korean feel. When I saw a Starbucks bag and a coca cola bottle with Korean folk painting on it, I found the answer right away” says Cho.
Inspiration being struck, Cho started to apply traditional Korean folk painting onto furniture which serves as the symbol that “this furniture is uniquely Korean”. Also applied is traditional Korean assembly architecture method that requires no nails and such. For this, Cho has collaborated with a master Korean architect Kim Jae-yeol (National Intangible Asset No.55) to make 100% solid wood and 100% linen Furmin furniture with all folk paintings drawn by Cho.
“I named Furmin to give people luck. Luck in other words I think is happiness and happiness is the ultimate purpose of art. From small portable dining table to partition, the design-patented Furmin will give people a new concept of art furniture as well as lightness and mobility.”
Furmin received a call from K Auction in 2019, sponsored the World Heritage Festival in 2020 and displayed at Hahoe Folk Village in Andong. Cho says that cultural heritage is better served in our daily lives than written records on books or displayed in museums and this is the point she is getting at.
Furmin is one of the KOTRA export companies and the Ministry of SMEs and Startups’ export voucher companies. Having made its name known in the art and furniture market in South Korea, Cho is now busy preparing for collaboration with an agent in Paris and for the Maison & Objet Paris held late this year.
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