Paulownia wood, Pine, Ott-chil, Jagae(Mother-of-pearl)
42.5 x 42.5 x 42cm
75 x 42.5 x 32cm

Soban is a living tool most closely related to the kitchen of our households, which functioned as a low table, developed according to the sitting ondol (Korean floor heating system) culture and as a tray to carry food. It has various shapes depending on the area and production method. Among the different types of soban, Najuban is characterized by a strong and sturdy structure in a simple shape, and, unlike other sobans, it prevents the top plate from bending or cracking by reinforcing the rim.

Lee Kwang-woong, the son of a master of the national intangible cultural heritage najeonjang Lee Hyeong-man, collaborated with the designer Kim Jae-kyung to make two sets of soban by adjusting the proportion of the traditional najuban. It is a design that can be used as a sofa table or a side table in accordance to the modern living pattern. Based on the unique structure of najuban, it is designed to increase tension in the space between the top board and the legs with the sloped plane where the cloud-shaped carving and the legs meet. And, it builds a visual sense of stability by making the rim at the angle of symmetry with the top of the legs. The basic form follows the najuban, but the najeon pattern on the top board expresses an abstract shape using a geometric pattern in circular form that contrasts with an intricately and delicately shaped traditional pattern. The traditional black-lacquered najuban and the bright najeon on the top board of turquoise color shine like a pearl in the sea. Naju-jagae Ban which is created by the meticulous skill of Lee Kwang-woong who directed the entire process from the wood work, ott-chil, trimming and attaching najeon, and the modern sensibility of the designer Kim Jae-kyung, suggests the possibility of tradition permeating everyday life.

LEE Kwang-woong

b.1971, works in Buyeo
Professor, Education Center For Traditional Culture, Korea National
University of Cultural Heritage

  • 2004-2006 finished Ph.D Course Work, Daegu University, Daegu
  • 2000-2002 MA. Lacquer, Paichai University, Daejeon
  • 1997- Trainee of National Intangible Cultural Heritage for Najeon LEE Hyung-man(father), Wonju
Solo exhibition
  • 2013 Hobuk International Lacquer Triennale, Hobuk Museum, China
  • 2009 LEE Kwang-woong Najeon Exhibition, COEX, Seoul
  • 2009 LEE Kwang-woong Najeon Art Exhibition, Indong Art Gallery, Wonju
Invited exhibitions
  • 2016 MAISON&OBJET, Paris, France
  • 2014 Korea-Japan-China Craft Exchange, Goma Art Center, Gongju
  • 2014 International Lacquer Art Exhibition, Gukje Museum, Daegu
  • 2013 Jinbyeun-Jinyong Deun, COEX, Seoul
  • 2011 Cheongju International Craft Biennale _Between tradition and future, Cheongju
  • 2004 Presidential Prize, 34th Korea Folk Arts&Craft Fair, Seoul
  • 2003 Special Prize, 3rd Cheongju International Craft competition, Cheongju
  • 2002 Silver Prize, 27th Korean Annual Traditional Handicraft Art Exhibition, Seoul
  • 2014 Victoria & Albert Museum, London
  • 2013 Hubei Museum, Hubei
  • 2010 Gyeongnam Art Museum, Changwon

KAMKAM (KIM Jae-kyoung)

b.1984, works in Seoul
Designer in Studio KAMKAM

  • 2007 BA. Wood Working and Furniture Design, Hongik univ. Seoul
  • 2017 Uri Korea, Ruhe in Beschleunigung, Museum für Völkerkunde Hamburg, Hamburg
  • 2016 Korea NOW, Bavarian National Museum, Munchen, Germany
  • 2015 Korea NOW_Craft, Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Paris, France
  • 2013 Salone Satellite, Milano Italia
  • 2013 Tent London/100% Design London, London UK
  • 2012 Arumjigi – Plato Samsung Museum, Seoul
  • 2011 The beauty in Living Voskel, Paris France
  • 2012 Next Generation Design Leaders, KIDP

Museum für Völkerkunde Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany