Just got back from Milan after three very intensive days at the worlds largest design fair Salone Del Mobile. The designer I found most interesting, was the young Chinese girl Yuan Yuan. In fact she blew me away with her small new furniture collection ROOY. I found her at a tiny stand at the very rear of the exhibition hall for young talents and fell in love immidiately with her Light Fan screen, her interesting wooden coffeetable and her nice little Phoenix chair.
The ROOY collection, just launched this year, interprets Chinese traditional culture and modern life uniquely, innovatively, and concisely. ROOYs philosophy is to provide an experience and perspectives of life that embrace elegance, individuality, and modernity.
“如翌” (ru yi) means “just like tomorrow or the future”. We are always full of hopes and expectations for the near future. We use ROOY, an alteration of the Pinyin for “如翌”, for our brand name. “如翌” is homophonic to “如意” (Ruyi, an S‐shaped ornamental object,usually made of jade or metal), which means “after one’s own heart or as one wishes”, Yuan Yuan explains to me and she continues:.
“China has a long and rich history. Against the backdrop of globalization, the traditional Chinese lifestyle and the contemporary Western lifestyle kept conflicting and converging with each other. The traditional lifestyle could be too serious and therefore put restraint on creativity, while contemporary creativity could easily lose its localness. Is there a perspective that could feed on both the traditional and the contemporary, and roam freely in both worlds?
The intention of ROOY was to create a lifestyle that’s relaxed, pleasant and tasteful. I believe Nature as an enduring theme serves as a bridge between past and future, East and West. With Nature and Creativity at its core, ROOY is a bridge that aims to guide the East and the West into the freedom and delight they both long for”.
The design of the Light Fan screen is based on the traditional esthetics of moon-shaped fans. The spacial partiotioning and the semi-transparency of the moon-shaped fans convey, in a faintly discernible way, the the emphasis of Oriental cultures on implicit beauty.
The Valentine coffeetable made of ash with it’s beautiful and practical caracteristic shape.
It is the age-old cultural tradition that has inspired the design of the Phoenix chair. The round-shaped, elegant chair provides you old-fashioned comfort and even a sense of grandeur. Also, from the perspective of the Chinese culture, it embodies the righteous, benign philosophical teachings of Confucianism.
Collecting and viewing stones of all shapes and sizes from nature has long been part of the traditional Chinese culture. Combining this estetics and ergonomics, the Stone Vision sofa matches its plump design with the curvature of the human body and thus pays equal attention to comfort and natural beauty.
Let me also show you some of Yuan Yuan’s previous work:
Yuan Yuan realized that she could communicate with the world through her design. “I could communicate and have a dialogue with more people, and improve people’s life through my ideals and my thinking. Design is my bridge to the world”, she explains.
Her inspiration she gets from everything that is natural, authentic and beautiful and she believes that the way to uplift oneself is to stay curious and positive. “Good design is sincere. It reflects the love for nature, the affections for friends and families, the passion for one’s dream, the longing for beauty and the treasuring of life. I want to experience all the different kinds of beauty. I want to integrate different culture, different experiences and different feelings into my creative work. I want every experience of design to be a brand new try and challenge”.
Aside from work – books and movies are Yuan Yuan’s favorite hobbies. “A good book gives you knowledge and
enriches your minds. A good movie brings you close to beauty and makes you think.I like having a stroll in the outskirt and getting closer to nature.I like trees. The towering trees make you feel the beauty of nature and the strength of life. In front of nature and life, one realizes that all the ups and downs in life are nothing but a storm in a teacup”.
Photos by Yuan Yuan Studio, Text by Katrine Martensen-Larsen