- Tiles & Lighting Design : NONGZAO
- Furniture Design : BENTU
- Material Supply : NONGZAO
- Yingjing’s Black Earthenware Supply : Gang Luo
- Text : Jiaqi Liu
- Client : Guangzhou ABO Sunny Walk Restaurant Co.Ltd.
- Tiles : NONGZAO
- Lighting Design : NONGZAO
- City : Guangzhou
- Country : China
Text description provided by the architects. Chuan’s Kitchen II, which takes both the Sichuan Yingjing’s black earthenware and mined soil materials from metro construction as the medium, is an experimental restaurant built upon the contemporary experiment of traditional folk art.
Yingjing’s black earthenware has a long history. With the locally unique white clay and abundant anthracite, for more than a hundred years, people of Yingjing County have made black earthenware out of these local materials and used them as cooking utensils. This kind of black earthenware is corrosion-resistant and tolerant to acid and alkali, so that they can keep the fresh and delicious taste of the food during cooking. After nourishing China's folk life for more than a hundred years, such flavour came from the land of Shu(Sichuan) area suddenly disappeared during the transition period of contemporary industrial civilization. This hits us that there ought to be some reflection and change about how to inherit this kind of folk art.
Traditional folk culture, including handicrafts and food, is derived from daily and spiritual needs of the mass. The reason of folk culture endangerment lies in the loss of its original living needs and significance, as well as its separation from folk life. Breaking through the boundary of materials and exploring the modern form of traditional folk art, we extracted the gaskets discarded after firing process of Yingjing’s black earthenware, and use them as the main decoration element in Chuan’s Kitchen.
These gaskets, made from the same materials as the Yingjing’s black earthenware, are used to separate the coal and greenware during the firing process then discarded in the wild after repeated use of seven or eight times. We try to recycle this wasted material from the traditional handicraft industry, which enables it to regain commercial value by conducting an experiment in this modern dining space of Sichuan cuisine.
One black gasket can be broken into three similar arc-like pieces. We interlace and weave the arcs into a huge chain net. The tall gasket net is connected with the vertical iron wall, together forming a 20 meters facade. The high-ceilinged space seems independent from the sky and the ground, displaying a strong sense of transparency.
The black gasket net is also used in interiors. The gasket nets enclose two dinning areas that meet different dining needs and enrich the spatial layers, at the same time, eliminate the strong sense of volume of the two bearing columns in the space. The black gaskets are also customized into pendant lamps and hung up within, strengthening the experience of this special material. Wall tiles and floor tiles made out of the mined soil materials from 40m underground metro construction cover the inner wall, bar area and the ground of the whole restaurant. The simple unity of soil tiles combine with the rough black gaskets net, presenting an spatial rhythm in both form of virtuality and reality.
The stripes of soil wall tiles seems like undulating while the gloss on the surface of gasket net are variegating under the dim light. Along with hearty flavor rich in Sichuan cuisine, the hundred years of edification in the farming civilization is flowing around the whole restaurant.
The popularity of commerce determines that it is inseparable from the contemporary social life and the growing commerce under the current social ecology is now sweeping the art field and daily life. It is an inevitable trend for traditional folk art to re-ignite vitality and enter the contemporary commercial environment. Can the innovative application of Yingjing’s black earthenware bring some inspiration and activation to the traditional folk arts inheritance as well as the industry chain of folk handicraft ?