I drew inspiration from my Chinese heritage to design and build a piece of furniture which encompassed the values of ancestor worship, such as family, tradition, and Confucianism.
Ancestor worship is an ancient tradition, which is still practiced today by my family. I was inspired by the rich culture behind these rituals, and wished to understand its significance in modern society. To embrace this experience, I wanted to create a piece of furniture which embodied the traditional aspects of ancestor worship, but also reflected the modernized ritual from a Chinese American.
Building this piece required significant amount of preparation. I first had to find the right wood to use. Rosewood is commonly used in Chinese furniture; however, it is very rare and expensive. I explored cheaper options, perhaps even using contemporary woods to signify the integration of Western and Eastern elements. I chose mahogany with black cherry stain, which mimicked the dark and rich color seen in Chinese furniture and brought out the beautiful grain of the wood.
Another issue was the design of the cabinet doors. From the rendering, the sides follow the 5 degree angle from the legs. However, this is not feasible if the doors are swinging outward. I decided to make a separate triangular piece that would allow the cabinets to swing freely at 90 degrees.