Milano Design Week

Salone del Mobile and Fuorisalone 2024

Korean and Italian design meet at ADI museum

For Milano Design Week 2024, the museum of Compasso d'Oro awards is hosting an exhibition co-produced with Kookmin University dedicated to ottchil, an innovative lacquering technique with deep roots in traditional crafts.

A bond such as the one connecting Korea and Italy – celebrating 140 years in diplomatic relations – is above all a cultural bond, weaved thorugh craft knowledge and creative practices as well. On the occasion of Design Week 2024, this bond is celebrated in Milan in an exhibition that revolves around ottchil, a Korean lacquering technique with a long tradition and unique adaptability to contemporary aesthetics and projects.

domus - ottchil design mdw24
OD Pond 2023, directed by OCDC and created through the work of designer Kyung-ran Choi , Ottchill artisan Dae-hyun Shon, and wookworker In-joo Park.

The “Design Beyond East and West” exhibition is co-organized by the Oriental Culture & Design Center (OCDC) of Kookmin University and the ADI Design Museum in Milan – home to the collection of the first design award in history, Compasso d’Oro – and is therefore titled “Ottchil Furniture and Design”. Hosted at the Museum’s Milanese venue, it is showcasing an unprecedented collaborative approach to creation involving designers and craft masters; ottchil, a Korean coating material made by purifying the sap of the lacquer tree, is presented here in its nature as “a sustainable material for modern furniture functions and Korean aesthetics as a design that transcends East and West”, as curator Choi Kyung-ran declared.

The projects on show result from the convergence of modern fabrication and traditional processing, seeking an innovative widening of the scope of ottchil, from traditionally small items, to large furniture pieces. Between tables, vases, fabrics and lighting fixtures, they outline the work of contemporary Korean and Italian designers and include a collaboration with the Oriental Institute of Culture and Design featuring Stefano Giovannoni, and a homage to a legendary Italian designer – and Domus director – Alessandro Mendini, who collaborated with Korean design organizations for over 20 years.

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