Precarious Natural Seating
Byung-Hoon Choi makes seats and benches that look too precarious for real use, but you can sit on them as long as they’re not part of an art exhibition. Someone might yell at you.
Some of these seats are made of one smooth solid piece of sculpted wood and others balance that wood on stones, playing with gravity as if it were a separate medium all its own.
These stools are abruptly flat on top while their legs curve elegantly outwards until reaching the floor, a matching pair in deep mahogany. The left-hand stool is punctured by an asymmetrical hole, like a perfect tree had grown around a dinosaur egg only to be turned into a chair. The stool on the right stretches higher, an upside-down tear shape cut out of its middle makes it look more like women’s legs cut off at the hip or a really groovy pair of flared jeans.
The chair below appears the most dangerous for actual sitting, but thanks to very heavy weights, balance only looks like it would be a problem. Have you ever gone to sit down when your friend pulled out the chair beneath you because he thought it would be hilarious to see you fall on your ass? That reactionary feeling of uncertainty – a subconscious verification of free fall, is what these works evoke, because to sit in them would mean trusting in the artist more than what your own eyes tell you.
Choi currently works as a dean and professor at Hongik University’s College of Fine Arts in Seoul, South Korea. He previously worked as the director of Hongik’s Museum of Art and his work can be found in nearly every museum in Korea including the Seoul Metropolitan Museum of Art and the National Museum of Contemporary Art. In addition to seating, he also constructs intricate sculptures along with tables and other kinds of furniture that can be improved aesthetically.
See more of Choi’s work on his website.