Kiam Yoong - Designer and Maker of Fine Classical Chinese Furniture Kiam Yoong - Logo
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Information on Artist

Kiam Yoong initially made contemporary furniture as a hobby. He was later inspired by the book Classic Chinese Furniture by Wang Shixiang and was overwhelmed by the beauty, elegance and intricacy of the pieces presented. He then determined to utilise his woodworking skills in recreating pieces presented in the book. Kiam does not believe in pure reproduction. Rather, inspiration and commitment to the classical Chinese furniture style laid the path for Kiam to use his skills in bringing the designs to life. Recreation of this past grandeur is his ultimate goal and each piece is unique.

While untrained in furniture making, Kiam learned his art from reading books, studying antique Chinese furniture, and by restoring pieces brought to him. He is now able to reproduce classic Chinese furniture that is authentic in style and construction.

In 1991, Kiam emigrated from Malaysia to Melbourne, Australia and found greater fulfillment in his creations; fueled by the wide range of beautiful local and imported timber and the availability of tools. He has since created pieces that are considered as equal to those produced during the Golden Age (Ming and early Qing Dynasties) of classical Chinese hardwood furniture. His work has been recognised through major industry awards, commissions and news reviews.

Philosophies and Principles

A continuous learning and understanding of the classical Chinese furniture style to revive the art in its original form by replicating styles and principles of both design and construction, free from the constraints of modern mass production techniques.
The inspired use of carefully hand selected woods and the combination of ingenious joinery leads to a strikingly beautiful balance of form. Wood is matched very carefully. The joinery takes into account strength and aesthetics: that is the continuity of wood grain or flow. Design principles are strictly adhered to for all designs and are in relation to the classical style. Ornamentation such as carving is used for both aesthetic and auspicious reasons.

Carving on Rose Chair

All metal fittings (handles, hinges) are made by using hand techniques such as forging and cold-working with the traditional designs. Joinery is hand cut using hand tools (pull saws and chisels, etc.) Machining is only employed at the start of a piece and only acts to facilitate the areas which during the 'Golden Age', would have been done by specialists (eg. sawyers) or apprentices. All detailing and finishing is executed by hand.Chinese architectural principles have always emphasised the economical use of precious woods and this is always a priority when selecting materials for the designs to bring out the best features.
The overall creation should not only appeal aesthetically but it should last the life of the wood.


Last modified: 25th July 2008

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