The Chinese Restaurant Series began as a desire to create a lamp that was the antithesis of traditional Scandinavian modern design. Like the ubiquitous “Chinese Restaurant” that shares little in common with traditional or authentic Chinese culture, Salonen’s works are an amalgamation of fantastic ideas of natural and classical forms. Though initial sketches are made, they are more fundamental to determine the atmosphere and mood of the work before the electrical components are mapped out. Working with sculptor’s clay, Salonen hand-builds and models each element, starting with the trunk-like armature that supports the leaf-like segments that resemble the acanthus plant (most commonly found on Corinthian columns). The leaf forms multiply and bend haphazardly like coral, often building upon themselves much like a 16th-century grotto or a Gaudi cathedral.