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Useless is not always useless.

Sometimes we can reuse some materials such as plastic, instead of throwing it away and doing that, avoiding the environment pollution. This is the main concept and philosophy of Youngmin Kang a South Korean artist who creates furniture with plastic waste.

Tell me about you, what is your background as designer and artist?

I grew up in Seoul, Korea, I have been studying design and art in Seoul since I was

a child. When I was born, Korea was different from what is today.

Growing up, I witnessed how things have changed and developed quickly, and I

tried to keep up with this fast-changing society. The choice I took a few years ago

is so innovative that tastes a bit strange in a way. I'm working on this fast changing

fantastic land.

How did the idea of this project originate?

The pipe production factory decided to collaborate with the artist on the disposal

of waste materials, and contacted me.

On the first day of the meeting, I was observing the factory's manufacturing

process and the waste that I could use, and I saw plastic thrown away.

They immediately took my attention. The project began when I proposed to the

factory to use a furniture-shaped trash can instead of plastic, which was thrown

away in dozens of bags every day.

What is the manufacturing process?

This factory is a factory that coats the surface of steel pipes with plastic. Waste is

generated when pipe production is completed or plastic color replacement is


I don't throw away plastic in this process, but I put it in a furniture-shaped mold

and cool it down to become furniture.

From what kind of source do you take inspiration for your works?

I tend to catch the thought of what I just missed. I don't want to pass by any

phenomenon without thinking. Sometimes useful things are useless, and

sometimes useless things are more useful than what you think. I always try to look

small things that we can miss easily, and take the inspiration from them.

Art and design are strictly correlated in your work, isn’t it?

The reason for classifying art and design is that they can define what they are

doing in one word and gain the upper hand.

Art and design are not black and white. Both art and design exist in various

spectra between black and white and cannot be divided into stages.

It is not the demands of the times to think dichotomously as if dividing the color of

the skin. In fact, we all know that there is an ambiguous boundary in art and

design, but there may be people who are uncomfortable.

Humanity in this era should boldly acknowledge and move forward with this


Your products are really original and modern, do you export them

abroad, too?

This collection was released in early 2020, but unfortunately, the business is not

going overseas yet because of the pandemic situation.

Next year, I’m planning to get a promotion in Milan (Salone Satellite 2021) about

current collection for the first time and I’m currently getting in touch with Rossana

Orlandi Gallery.

If you have to describe what is the meaning of design for you, what

would you say?

I Would say ‘Why so serious?’

Just enjoy.

Follow Youngmin and his work on instagram.

Article by

Sara Orlandini


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