Sienna Series by Seungjoon Song

Seungjoon Song is a multidisciplinary designer based in Seoul and Eindhoven and currently completing a master’s degree in Contextual Design at Design Academy Eindhoven in the Netherlands. 

Throughout his work, Seungjoon Song deals with the process of capturing and describing the interpretation of monochromatic colors as three-dimensional objects as the main topic. Sienna Series explores a personal interpretation of ‘red-brown’ tone as a ‘color of the calm earth which has always surrounded all things’.

The Beginning

Seungjoon Song: Sienna is the graduation work of my bachelor’s degree and the first work of my ‘Project Monochrome’. ‘Project Monochrome’ is the main theme I have been working on recently, and it is the work of capturing and exploring the interpretation of two-dimensional monochromatic colors as a three-dimensional object. Sienna is an interpretation of ‘red-brown’ color – I tried to capture the color of the earth, which has been formed for a long time. I unconsciously wondered what color is most fundamental and familiar to humans. I thought it was the reddish-brown of the earth, where everything was based, and I started to make red-brown color into three dimensions according to my own interpretation.

Seungjoon Song: The reddish-brown of Sienna implies the color of the ‘earth’ which is the ground of all things. Among them, I focused on the concept of ‘time’ of the earth, which has been deposited and formed for a long time, and expressed by a reddish-brown color. (The polished lacquer finishing means the surface finished by a human for a long time and the rough oxidation finishing means the surface finished by nature for a long time.) I think the process of healing through design is to make personal feelings such as memories or experiences of the viewer so that they can be put into the design and thought. I prefer an open-ended design in which the viewer can intervene and be expanded and interpreted in a variety of ways, rather than work with defined purposes and meanings. The reason why I work based on huge and abstract themes such as “the earth” and “time” is also to help the viewer’s involvement. Design is my most suitable medium that can deliver the core message I came up with to the audience. The faint contrast created by a combination of glossy lacquer and rough oxide surfaces was also intended to further induce the viewer’s inflow.

The main challenges

Seungjoon Song: I should have studied lacquer crafts and oxidation crafts to complete Sienna. lacquer(ottchil) is a traditional Korean painting craft that paints with a sap taken from the ott tree. I learned from a skilled worker for several months to apply lacquer. Since lacquer is toxic, it is itchy when be infected, but it has a beautiful glossy surface finish from nature. In the case of lacquerware, the brush marks were intended to remain so that it could be expressed as a glossy surface finish that humans complete through several brush strokes. and In the case of oxidation, a thin coating of anti-corrosion coating was made to allow the rough texture of oxidation to be felt.

Interview with Seungjoon Song | Photography Seungjoon Song.