A Relaxing Day by The Fireplace
Chess set & Book case
Learning is a life long dedication, and as long as humans exist, there are bound to be new things invented and being incorporated into our daily lives. But what about the things that have been around for centuries? Will they be here for centuries more to come? Or will they fade away in the ebbs and flows of time and trend? Knowledge and wisdom, however, is something that will never fade from the will of human heart and mind, and although they are just concepts and abstract, hollow words, there are quite a few physical embodiments of learning and wit that people seem to agree upon. In that not very long list, books and the game of chess are what people usually associate knowledge and intelligence with.
As long as humans exist, and that Fahrenheit 451 does not become the reality, books will exist, and more books will be written and published and perused every year. Therefore, as long as books exist, objects that are designed to hold and organise books are bound to exist too. Of course there are many existing book cases and book shelves on the market, but most of them are inflexible and fail to accommodate to the various sizes of reading material, resulting in wasted spaces. Therefore I strive to create an alternative storing space for books that uses up the once wasted spaces for good purposes, such as for organising books by their heights, and saving the extra room for arranging and displaying other bits and pieces.
What if something can also be folded up and stored within the bookcase, so that it would be a surprise and a clever way to make a book case more interesting? The game of chess has always had an entertaining relationship with literature, namely writers since the very early days have used chess as a metaphor for literally everything. Whether it is romance, rivalry, politics or mystery, chess is indeed a good way to summarise the ups and downs and the unpredictabilities (or predictabilities) of life. But chess is something widely known yet infrequently played, and many people dread about its somewhat complex rules. Perhaps some elements of story telling and personal interpretation could spice up the mundane game for the non-chess-players. Shakespeare was a known chess player, and he had mentioned the game of chess multiple times in his plays, and the fact that his plays cover a wide range of characters makes him the perfect inspiration for a unique chess set.
I decided to use wood for both pieces, although one mainly consists of plywood and the other solid wood. Wood is something that has a natural warmth to it, and it has a special place in people’s heart, mainly because that it is originally from nature (especially since nowadays many of us are quite isolated from nature, whether by choice or not) and that it is durable and ages well and can potentially last for a long time.
I have debated on the eternal struggle of form versus function ever since I learnt about it. Though now, I think form can and should exist along with function, and true beauty occurs when a perfectly functional object also has a well designed form. This is what I hope to achieve in my works, by designing pleasing forms, creating harmony between the two pieces, and providing flexibility and adaptability. And although neither the form nor the function would be perfect, because despite everything, the works are hand made, the faults and the resulting ugliness would in fact add some additional human warmth to the pieces. This would also enhance the heirloom quality to the work, since there is something personal about each chip and each mistake.