South Korean artist Lila Jang is a sculptor who creates distorted effigies of traditional 18th-century French furniture. From bloated footstools to levitating wall lamps, Jang’s anthropomorphic furniture subverts upper-class affectations into warped Lewis Carroll-inspired imagery, evoking wonder and bewilderment in equal measure at the surreal shapes her furniture take on. Jang received her BFA in Sculpture from Honik University in her hometown of Seoul before moving to Paris to attend École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts for her MFA, and has since gained international acclaim through group shows and art fairs around the globe. According to Jang, her work is a representation of the current state of humanity, stuck “in the midpoint of that constant struggle between reality and the ideal.”
Jang drew inspiration for the series of fantasy furniture from the limitations she found within her cramped apartment in Paris, where tables and chairs only seemed to fit if they were bent out of shape first. The surreality behind the work is also inspired by Jang’s desire to break away from a quotidian routine, turning familiar, unremarkable furnishings into exceptional works of art. Although the pieces are gestural and whimsical in design, the true achievement of the work lies in its retention of the practical applications of the furniture. Even with the canapé climbing the wall, don’t you still want to curl up in it with a book? It’s all the same with Jang’s less functional pieces, such as the warped dining chairs: one can easily picture her pieces fitting right in at any number of houses built by contemporary architects. Jang’s most recent solo exhibition took place at the Centre Culturel de Coreen in Paris where she now lives, presumably in a larger apartment filled with her collection of fantastically anthropomorphic fittings.