Neri&Hu is a modern interpretation of traditional Chinese craftsmanship, offering a new take on contemporary, authentic Chinese design through the creation of original and imaginative furniture and accessories.
June 19th, 2013
Neri and Hu
With a strong background in international architecture and interior projects, Neri and Hu are renowned for their furniture and accessory designs, produced for some of the world’s leading brands (ClassiCon, Moooi, Stellar Works and more).
Also creating products for their own in-house brand, Neri&Hu, the two designers seek to evoke change, sparking the potential in Chinese design and offering a collective vision of modernity balanced by cultural heritage.
While at the Milan Furniture Fair in April this year, SeehoSu caught up with Neri&Hu to hear more about their work as contemporary Chinese designers in the global marketplace, and talk about two of their leading products from the Neri&Hu brand.
The duo note that while there are an increasing number of international design brands (including Neri&Hu) now available in China, consumers of high-end design are still few. “Its still a difficult uphill battle,” the duo says.
Solo Bar Stool
Consumers in china want to spend money on “raw material, not design”. “Material has a higher value and consumers are interested in buying the material as opposed to the design,” they say.
This demand for tangible things reduces the appreciation for process and concept – two elements which are integral to authentic design.
The success of Neri&Hu both in China and internationally is owing largely to their ability to communicate beyond language. “It’s about culture and practices. I think we’re able to communicate what something is and articulate it in a way people can relate to,” they say.
Resulting from this is the international success of Neri&Hu products such as the Solo range of dining chairs, barstools, lounges and tables, and Zisha tea collection – both available in Australia through SeehoSu.
“The Solo lounge chair [in particular] is our homage to Charles and Ray Eames,” says Neri. “We’re trying to imagine what Ray and Charles would do if they were living in contemporary China… it’s the best we can create without [knowing their minds].”
1/3 Salt and Pepper Motif
The Zisha teaware range, by comparison, is an exploration of different material for tea vessels. ‘Zisha’ which translates to ‘purple sand’ is a key material in the range.
“Here we’re trying to explore the play on natural materials. The form usually associated with a material, is a very symbolic Chinese form. We wanted to give it a modern take,” says Neri.
By taking the vessels beyond their traditional tea-drinking form, “we’re giving the product freedom and exploration of use by contemporary people.”
View the Neri&Hu range in the new SeehoSu showroom in Surry Hills, Sydney, set to open for the first time at Sydney Indesign, 15 – 17 August 2013.
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