HC28 Breathes Fresh Life Into Lacquer
In just a few short weeks, the biannual High Point Market will welcome industry professionals to see this season’s cache of cutting-edge products by designers and manufacturers from around the world. One global company will bring a new collection from this year’s Shanghai Fair to North Carolina, showing off their collaborative approach to design and mastery of an ancient Chinese art.
HC28 is a contemporary brand of home furnishings with a multicultural aesthetic built into its design philosophy. Founded in 2006 in Beijing by Jianwei Li and chief designer François Champsaur, HC28 integrates innovative Western design with the Eastern dedication to excellent craftsmanship and production. The collection features pieces by François Champsaur, Christophe Delcourt, Luca Scacchetti, Masayuki Kurokawa, and Steve Leung.
HC28’s method of design selection is in keeping with their multinational approach, explains Li. “We select designs to manufacture, rather than working with an individual designer,” Li says. “The designers represented in our catalogue share our belief in excellence and truly distinctive creations.”
Additionally, a large part of HC28’s design philosophy comes from a long Chinese tradition of excellence in craftshmanship and a broader view of what it means to live poetically in today’s modern world.
One area in which the company demonstrates its proclivity for refined craftsmanship is its use of lacquer. Chinese artisans and craftspeople have used lacquer since time immemorial, with the earliest known use of the technique dating back to the Neolithic period. HC28 takes this time-honored craft and translates it for a contemporary audience through in-house research and experimentation.
The line’s organic, curved forms necessitate a more personal approach to lacquer application. “Hand polishing and manual spray coating procedures are performed at least 10 times, requiring at least 12 hours of drying in a dust-free, climate controlled space for each coating process,” Li says. “Once a piece is finished, you can really feel the hand that shaped these products and get a sense of just how time-consuming this work is.”
The brand’s modernized lacquer application results in pieces that are silky to the touch and delightfully colorful.