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Pushing boundaries with bamboo

Updated: 2016-01-15 08:25:32

( China Daily )

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[Photo provided to China Daily]

The chair combines cotton cushions with a bamboo frame, bringing together the elegance of the Chinese bamboo chair and the comfort of the Western sofa. Continuing his effort to push the boundaries on bamboo craftsmanship, Shi is exploring new techniques to enhance the structural strength of bamboo with this chair.

While he relied more on his sharp eyes as a jewelry designer, Shi says he has now found a new life with his fingers.

"When you understand the power of your hands, you realize that you shouldn't have depended only on your eyes. What you see with your eyes can be false, but what you feel with your hands can't fool you. You can feel the temperature, the texture and everything that you can't access on a computer screen."

Born to parents who moved to Taiwan from the Chinese mainland in 1949, Shi recalls that he reluctantly practiced traditional art as a child.

At 21, he eagerly left Taiwan to study at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York and later worked as a designer for luxury jewelry company Harry Winston.

In 1996, he won the DeBeers Diamonds International Award, equivalent to the Oscars of the jewelry world.

"We tried our best to be like Americans," he says. "But when I was finally accepted by the industry, I started to look back and felt uncomfortable. I realized where I had come from. The education I had as a child, which I didn't understand early on, surfaced again. I got to notice it and became curious."

With the belief that design is meant to solve problems of people, he began to look at his roots with amazing results, like the idea of yielding and co-existing with nature using Chinese craftsmanship, which could be an answer to the destructive effects of the Industrial Revolution.

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