Spotted! Yu Hua Liew

Yu Hua Mirror

Yu Hua writing table

Yu Hua desk

While political science graduate Yu Hua Liew had no former woodworking experience, she realised she wanted to work with her hands and do something practical. She enrolled in the Chippendale International School of Furniture in Scotland from which she recently picked up her degree.

One of Yu Hua’s signature pieces is a mirror with a beautifully-carved limewood surround gilded in white gold. “My design was inspired by the ocean and is reminiscent of Japanese art of the Edo period. The breaking wave carving features a polar bear looking out to see but, look closely, and you will notice a seal hiding in a cave.”

Yu Hua also designed a writing desk in wych elm and sycamore, with traditional dovetail joints to withstand any climate, and designed for easy dismantling – making it ideal for transportation. “The writing desk is called 根 which means root in Chinese, as it is the first piece of furniture I built and is a representation my first experiment in the field of woodworking.”

Also featured is her tabour slide tripod side table called the “鼎立” Ding Li Side Table. “It’s a Chinese term used to describe a tripartite confrontation, and its literal meaning is “to stand like three legs of a tripod”. Besides the obvious tripod stance of the side table, the name is also a nod to the contrast between the 3 different types of wood used: yew, sycamore and oak.”

Yu Hua’s plan is to return to Singapore to work as a furniture designer and maker and to open her own design studio.

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