From Resin to Crystal–Saerom Yoon generates precious material and form
What image comes to mind as I say this?
Perhaps a viscous, sticky, and amorphous substance that can be applied to surfaces as a coating, or cast into more robust and opaque forms.
ACRYLIC RESIN. How about now?
Now, you are likely picturing clear sheets of Plexiglas–a material that is at once like glass and plastic. You have seen this material around the block, often substituting for roles that glass might play.
These visual associations are accurate, but also limiting. And that realization comes as soon as you set eyes on designer Saerom Yoon’s Crystal Series of works, made with dyed acrylic resin.
The term ‘Crystal’ is a perfect fit for the end product that the talented Korean designer has created. By dyeing clear, liquid acrylic resin as it is cast into sharp-edged rectangular forms, Yoon creates chunks of hard acrylic that are transparent but also softly colored in a gradient.
From one crisp edge to the other, light and velvety blues turn into sunny yellows; and rich purples turn into pinks. For a material that is so synthetic (though resin originates in organic compounds further back in its lineage), the end-result, crafted from this dyed acrylic, is surprisingly natural and gentle to perceive.
It is safe to say that this is the first time you have seen acrylic resin being manipulated in such a way, all the while keeping its crystalline quality at the forefront and any tendencies for opacity at bay.
After dyeing the individual pieces and layers of acrylic resin in multiple hues, Yoon proceeds to compound their visual qualities, by bringing together these chunks at T-junctions and in layers. The intersections and layering create stunning refractions and optical illusions, not to mention many more hues, simply by the optical interaction of the individual colors.
And what is the glue between these pieces? Heat.
By heating and connecting the material directly with itself, with no external gluing element, what emerges is a pure creation– one material, from the bottom edges to the tabletop.
Understanding Saerom’s process gives further insight into why he terms his works ‘Crystal’. For one, they possess the purity and untampered material quality of crystal. And secondly, they have a precious beauty to them, forcing you to want to treat them with respect and delicacy–perhaps exactly like you would treat something made of crystal.
For these reasons, and for his transformation of a familiar substance into precious new material formats, Saerom is symbolic of the category of designers and artists we (at MaterialDriven) have focussed on in the series 'Master of Material'. His understanding of the material properties of acrylic resin, and manipulation into unexpected and breathtaking outcomes makes him a perfect candidate.
About Saerom Yoon:
Saerom Yoon is a designer based in Seoul, South Korea. He is currently studying furniture design at Hongik University, with an emphasis on woodworking. In addition to the work seen above, he recently launched a second series of works with acrylic resin. These works, a new Crystal Series, boast of smooth, crisp edges, as well as raw sculpted, faces. In complete contrast to Saerom's work with the Crystal Series, however, is his work with wood, titled the Segment Series. Do take a moment to explore all his works, crafted with resin and wood.
His bold transition to resin has been widely featured across design media, and we cannot wait to see what he creates next.