South Korean artist Seungjin Yang combines functionality with childhood imagination in his line of chairs that are sculpted to look like balloon art. Made with real balloons, the artist quite literally breathes life into his creations worth thousands.
Yang began “The Blowing Series” in 2013 with “his intention to transform undefined form of balloons into a type of sculpture through his own interpretations.” He has since furthered his mission to try to form “balanced structures and rigid textures” from the unstable material.
It comes as a surprise to those who learn that the chairs aren’t merely shaped to look like balloons but are made with them as well, he shared in a 2017 interview with Arirang Culture. After coming up with a design concept, Yang begins to blow up the balloons, risking the occasional balloon pop particularly when forming a round shape. Once constructed into the desired shapes, the balloons are coated with pigmented epoxy and then hung to dry for six to seven hours. Only after the process is repeated roughly eight times are the balloons firm enough to withstand any weight.
Having gained a cult following after a feature with The Future Perfect in 2019, Yang’s creations have been spotted in countless Architectural Digest shoots, making their way into homes around the world.
“What I’m doing now may be more difficult than assembling toys, but I think a lot of it is the same thing I did as a kid,” he told luxury retailer SSense. “When I’m blowing balloons, sometimes it feels like child’s play.”
And while his works do carry a sense of childlike wonder, Yang, a graduate from South Korea’s prestigious art school Hongik University, takes a methodical approach in crafting each part. “There is not a single balloon that doesn’t need to be there for structural support,” Yang explained. “I don’t like things that are simply decorative.”
What began as artistic experimentation now sells for $4 to $12 thousand per chair or stool in an assortment of colors at the online gallery The Future Perfect.