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Korean Wish-Making Inspired Wood Cabinet

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In the heart of Korean tradition, the act of stacking stones carries a profound cultural significance, symbolizing wish-making and the expression of one’s desires. Jaewoo Ahn captures this ancient ritual in his latest creation, Stack, a wooden cabinet that merges the poetic with the functional. This piece, with its irregularly sized volumes balanced atop one another, evokes the delicate equilibrium found in nature and the human spirit.

At first glance, Stack might appear as a wooden sculpture, with its dark plywood volumes and gilded brass handles punctuating the raw essence of the design. However, once the handles are pulled, the true purpose of the cabinet is revealed. The handles, cast in textured brass and inspired by stones collected by Ahn himself, ground the project in a reconnection with nature. Ahn notes, “Over time, you can feel the surface of the stones wearing away, revealing the beauty of nature’s passage.” This tactile engagement with the cabinet mirrors the reasons behind stone stacking: mindfulness, meditation, and wish-making.

The multidisciplinary design studio approach is evident in Ahn’s work, blending elements of sculpture, functional design, and traditional craftsmanship. This fusion creates a piece that is not only visually striking but also deeply meaningful. The cabinet’s form takes the shape of a tower, each volume seemingly balanced in a delicate state of equilibrium, much like the hopes and dreams embodied by the stacked stones in Korean culture. The vibrant brass handles, finished with distinct textures, recall elements of nature that poetically age with time, adding layers of narrative to the piece.

Jaewoo Ahn’s Stack series continues his exploration of balance, light, form, space, and life, resulting in poetic design objects that are both sculptural and functional. This intricate light installation, powered by a pulley system, features spherical glass lighting and pendulums set into motion by gravity and physical forces. The cabinet’s design not only serves as a functional storage piece but also as an artistic expression of the designer’s reconnection with nature and traditional practices.

Incorporating a multidisciplinary design studio ethos, Ahn’s work transcends conventional boundaries, merging artistry with utility. Stack is a testament to how traditional cultural practices can inspire modern design, creating pieces that resonate on both an aesthetic and emotional level. By capturing the essence of wish-making through the primitive act of stacking stones, Jaewoo Ahn has created a cabinet that is as much a piece of art as it is a functional object, embodying the timeless beauty of nature and the human spirit.

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