Red Ochre and a Wise Man
Ochre, gelatin, glycerin, and water. With these four natural substances, Soowon Chae has developed a sustainable and biodegradable material that he calls Ocragela.
With red ochre, early human beings had dragged out various functions for a natural colouring agent, curing wounds, tanning leathers, and protecting their skins from the sun. So, he not only uses ochre as a colouring agent, but also as a tribute to the curiosity and creativity of the prehistoric man, and the respect early human beings showed for nature.
How different is the story behind gelatin, often regarded as a kind of ‘inferior’ residual product of the meat-processing industry? That is precisely why he chose it as a main ingredient to create a sustainable material with completely new possibilities. And to twist the stereotyping and the commercial value by contemporary man in a society dominated by the principles of capitalism and to question the authentic values for the better world.
This 1st edition of furniture made of Ocragela questions the value of standardised mass-products of today. As anima, an origin word of animus which means rational soul, life or intelligence, signifies ‘breath’, this design is inspired by intuitive life-form of nature and inherently intelligent animals and processed in one-of-a-kind way from carving the wood to upholstering the structures with Ocragela.
Ocragela was created by mixing gelatin and ochre with glycerin and water. By varying the proportions, temperature and methods of casting, Soowon Chae created different patterns, colors, textures, thickness and flexibility.
Red Ochre and a Wise Man / SOOWON CHAE (Graduation 19) (Video)
Soowon Chae & Ocragela (Article)
Blickfänger, Angeline Behr