Object of My Affection

Jay Sae Jung Oh's Savage Series

Lee Mindel

Lee F Mindel FAIA, architect-extraordinaire, shares the latest on what's catching his eye

Seoul-born, Seattle-based designer-artist Jay Sae Jung Oh, represented by Salon 94 Design, takes discarded objects and literally fuses them by meticulously wrapping them in leather string to create an elegant fusion of history, material, thought, and process.

At first glance, one might think of Tapio Wirkkala's magical sculptural works carved from layered plies of wood; or of Mathias Bengtsson's laser-cut layered works—both of which are subtractive by nature. Jung Oh's benches, seats, and planters are, in contrast, additive.

Her training as a sculptor in Korea and her MFA in 3D design from Cranbrook come together in perfect complement. At this moment in time,  her approach seems so appropriate in its humility and humanity. Her exquisite and steady hand transforms the mundane origins of the parts into something new and extraordinary; assemblages that are at once art and craft. ◆

Jay Sae Jung Oh's process entails collecting discarded plastic objects, assembling them together, and wrapping them in a natural material like jute or leather. The original shapes and identities of the amalgamated objects are concealed within a new form.

In Jung Oh's words: “Innovation and beauty can be born from the most mundane objects that we take for granted every day… I wish my audience can reconsider the ordinary and have a chance to appreciate what they have today."  

All images © Jay Sae Jung Oh; courtesy of Salon 94 Design