Ben's visionary approach to design extends beyond the present and into the future. In recent years, he is at the forefront of a movement that experiments with new, sustainable materials and techniques such as incorporating traditional hand-made Chinese paper into his interior design.
Paper, an Eastern material, possesses a warm and gentle nature, yet is fragile and delicate. This fragility often limits its applications. However, in Japan, traditional washi paper has been improved by incorporating materials derived from petroleum refining, resulting in enhanced strength and durability.
Ben is also trying to explore new techniques, such as combining traditional paper with modern materials to present new forms in the space. Through the hand casting of paper fibers onto metal mesh, he delves into the expressive language and emotions evoked by the fluidity of paper pulp combined with various materials. The research of paper has been applied to a broader range of design fields.
Ben’s art installation, “Travellogue on Mountain”, draws inspiration from the ambiance and “Juan Yun Cun” technique (where the lines curl inward, employing sweeping arcs that evoke the rolling and hooking of clouds) of the traditional Chinese painting “Early Spring”. Through the use of paper as the primary material, it expresses the sublime beauty of mountains and rivers while blurring the boundaries of physical space.
Inspired by Chinese calligraphy, the design of the KONGSHU side table draws upon materials with a distinct Eastern character, such as handmade paper and lacquer. Utilizing pulp as the second life of paper allows for a more three-dimensional creation, bringing forth various textures and tactile qualities. During the development process, the pulp is strengthened through enhanced dehydration and increased density, while multiple layers are stacked to augment the thickness, effectively enhancing the rigidity and load-bearing capacity of the table.