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An Interview with Saerom Yoon, Winner of the 2018 Officine Panerai Next Generation Designer of the Year Award


An Interview with Saerom Yoon, Winner of the 2018 Officine Panerai Next Generation Designer of the Year Award
All images courtesy of Gallery Huue

Dusk and dawn, set in dyed acrylic. Korean designer Saerom Yoon seeks to create furniture and installations inspired by the hues created in nature. Concocting a method of adding dye to acrylic, his arduous experimentation process has no doubt paid off. Yoon, with these designs, won the Officine Panerai Next Generation Designer of the Year last year, part of the 2018 Wallpaper* Design Awards. In this interview with The Artling Artzine, Yoon talks about his journey as a designer, how he hopes he’ll develop his practice, and the big names he’d like to collaborate with in the future: 


Crystal Series, Saerom Yoon

Crystal Series 01

First of all, congratulations on the success you’ve had as a designer over the last year! You were the winner of the Officine Panerai Next Generation Designer of the Year, part of the 2018 Wallpaper* Design Awards. Could you tell us more about the project you submitted for this award?

Thank you. I received this prize unexpectedly. I believe that my works and efforts thus far have brought me to this place. My works are inspired by nature. In particular, most of my inspiration comes from the beautiful colors that the sky shows during the mornings and evenings.

Could you tell us a little bit about your background? Have you always wanted to be a furniture designer?

My first major in college was Materials Science and Engineering, which I didn’t have much interest in. I then entered military service which is mandatory for all Korean men. I had an opportunity to make furniture by chance in the military service, and it sparked interest for me. After I completed military service, I changed my major to furniture design.

Saerom Yoon's studio 

Your more recent works use dyed acrylic, allowing a unique distortion, refraction, and reflection. How did you arrive at this method of creating furniture?

When I started these works, I wanted to create something made up of only colors. So I researched transparent materials. Whilst doing this research, I found acrylic to be the most suitable material. Acrylic cooperated with dyes, is more transparent than glass, and is better to process than other materials. At first, I underwent a lot of trial and error because there was no existing or previous work or information of the technique I used. As I proceeded to produce the work, there were refractions and reflections that were not supposed to come out. And, since that moment, I’ve been attracted to acrylic even more and continue to research these effects.

This distortion and translucency also allow your furniture to have a rather delicate look. What do you look to for inspiration on these aesthetically pleasing pieces?

All my inspiration comes from nature; I’m very inspired by the morning and evening sky, lakes reflecting the sky, leaves glittering in the sunlight, and so on.

Crystal Series, Installation, Saerom Yoon

Crystal Series, Installation

What do you hope to evolve your practice into in the next few years? Do you see yourself sticking to acrylic as a medium?

Because there are so many things that I haven’t shown yet, I plan to continuously perform my work by using acrylic for the time being. This doesn’t only apply to furniture but also huge installation works I’m preparing. I do not know how my works will develop, but I hope that their results are more than I can imagine.

You’ve impressively exhibited internationally, from SOFA in Chicago to Maison&Objet in Paris. What has been your most rewarding experience and why?

With the development of social media, it becomes very simple to promote works now than it was several years ago. However, my work has more visual stimulus when you actually see it in person rather than seeing it in a photo. By participating in these big exhibitions, it definitely gives an artist the opportunity to show their artworks to a wider audience. Because it helps an artist’s career a lot, these exhibitions or projects are considered to be important to artists.

Crystal Series, Raw Side Edition 

Name 3 designers who you’d most like to collaborate with in the future.

Sabine Marcelis, Mathieu Lehanneur, Byunghoon Choi. I’m a huge fan of Sabine Marcelis and Mathieu Lehanneur. Byunghoon Choi is my mentor. If I could collaborate with my old teacher one day, it would be my honor. 


To view more works by Saerom Yoon on The Artling, click here

To check out more design items available on The Artling, click here

Any views or opinions in the post are solely those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the company or contributors.

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