The 'New Armor' series was inspired by body armour from the Korean Joseon dynasty (1382-1897). Korean designer Kwangho Lee has utilised traditional Asian 'ott-chil' lacquer technique to make contemporary furniture. In this stool, bronze forms the structural body, with the seat coated in paper and ott-chill lacquer. The result is a high gloss finish with a textured pattern that contrasts with the matt finish of the metal.
The stool is representative of the work of Kwangho Lee, a contemporary mid-career Korean designer who combines traditional craft skills with contemporary design across a range of materials. He has received a number of awards including the Artist of The Year 2011 by the Korean Ministry of Culture and Young Craftsman of The Year by Yeol (a society for Korean cultural heritage) in 2013.
This object represents contemporary international concerns for the preservation of intangible cultural heritage - skills and knowledge involved in traditional craftsmanship. Globalisation has presented many challenges to the survival of traditional artisanship. This work by Kwangho Lee represents a recent wave of international designers who are involved in cultural preservation of traditional skills and craftsmanship through contemporary design.