Seattle-based designer Jay Sae Jung Oh has created a chair made of discarded instruments hand-wrapped in cords of cowhide leather.
The Salvage Chair is part of Jay Sae Jung Oh’s ongoing Salvage series, where the Korean-American designer creates furniture from discarded household objects encased in ribbons of leather. The designer said it is a commentary on waste culture.
“This series was driven by the aspiration to make a positive societal impact by addressing our environmental issues,” Oh told Dezeen.
“By engaging with this body of work, I aimed to provide users/viewers with an opportunity to reevaluate and value what we currently have.”
“I strongly believe that this shift in perception serves as a crucial starting point for addressing the problem at hand. If people can appreciate and cherish things we already have, that could be a strong starting point for solving these environmental issues,” the designer continued.
For the Salvage Chair, Oh combined discarded instruments – including a drum, drumsticks, a French horn and an electric guitar – into an armchair-like arrangement before covering the entire form in ripples of thin brown leather cords.
Two drums and a handbag form much of the chair’s front legs, while the remaining instruments and other objects, such as a small toy horse, carry up and around the back side of the seat.
Made specifically for the Mirror Mirror: Reflections on Design at Chatsworth exhibition in England, the Salvage Chair was displayed in the estate’s music room, which served as a direct influence on the material in the piece.
The top rail of the chair is made from smaller items to create a silhouette of crests similar to a throne, as another nod to the stately surroundings.
Oh’s Salvage series includes other household furniture including a stool, wall organizer and a large sculptural planter made of a shovel, watering can and planting pots.
“The production process takes place in several stages,” said Oh.
“First, collect various objects. Next, I meticulously design the overall form, considering the collected objects and processes to structure and assemble them. Once the form is completed I intricately design patterns on its surface and then proceed to wrap it in leather with precision and care.”
To source the materials Oh said friends or neighbours bring her found objects, or she finds leftover or damaged objects at thrift store outlets.
“Collecting objects is much easier than people imagine. The ease of this process highlights just how much stuff we throw away in our daily lives.”
Jay Sae Jung Oh is a Seattle-based designer and artist born in South Korea. Her work explores the intersection of art and design “derived from the awareness of social issues like sustainability and abundant waste”.
Oh’s work was recently on view at the San Francisco Museum of Art at the Conversation Pieces: Contemporary Furniture in Dialogue and at the Chatsworth House in England.
The photography is courtesy of the Chatsworth House Trust.