Karina Cheung on her position in Bika Dwelling

Karina Cheung tells the story of Bika Dwelling’s ardour for furnishings and her position on the helm of the corporate.

Established in 1975, Bika Dwelling is called Indonesia’s main furnishings maker. The family-owned firm focuses on creating furnishings that’s characterised by high quality, power, magnificence and longevity. The founder, David Cheung, inherited his ardour for magnificence and moulded it into motivating pressure behind Bika’s method to furnishings: “a ardour for lovely wood.”
That zeal handed right down to the following technology, Karina Cheung, who’s now the Managing Director of Bika. Identical to her father, Karina believes that magnificence needs to be appreciated. Subsequently, Bika is consistently motivated to verify purchasers are those who’re capable of recognize the great thing about its woodwork. “To us, wooden is sort of a diamond, it’s like artwork. We need to give it to the shoppers who can recognize it. As a result of then, when the items are of their houses, they’ll recognize it much more, and they’ll inform that story to whoever taking a look at it,” Karina emphasises. Status sits down and chats with Karina about her ardour for furnishings making and, after all, about Bika.

Hi there, Karina! How are you and what have you ever been as much as?
It’s been some time since I talked to Status. I’ve simply come again from a vacation, truly. It was my first outing of Jakarta in two years. I went to Bali, however not like another vacation, this time I met artists in who stay and work there. So, it was refreshing and actually inspirational. I had a good time. And now I’m able to get again at work.

You may have been described as ‘’the artist of the household” and we discovered you had been focused on structure and artwork ever because you have been younger. Are you able to inform us the way you first found this ardour?
My dad likes to take photos and he additionally likes to journey. Since I used to be younger, he took me to numerous locations. He all the time had his digicam with him and was all the time taking photos of buildings. I loved it. However I feel once I was between elementary college or junior excessive, I realised that I preferred historical past. I preferred it due to the tales. And most tales that I preferred have been related to structure. So, I feel that love began from historical past as I loved how the tales are related to the buildings.
I feel artwork may be very shifting. It reveals other ways of taking a look at issues. I feel what makes it fascinating is as a result of in artwork itself, there are a number of tales. I preferred going to museums and studying about how artists created their masterpieces. It’s all the time fascinating to me to take heed to others of their approach of taking a look at issues. Subsequently, I can study loads from them.

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What was it that made you resolve to pursue a profession in furnishings design?
I truly needed to grow to be an archaeologist. So, I assumed, what’s the following smartest thing? I discovered that the reply was studying structure. After I was youthful, I grew up assembly designers and designers by my dad and mom once they introduced me to conferences. I talked to them and I assumed it was a fairly cool profession to have – to be an architect, to be a designer.

What have been among the challenges that you just needed to overcome as a designer? And the way did you overcome these challenges?
My background was in structure. I went to Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and studied Architectural and Constructing Sciences/Expertise, after which I went to Rhode Island College of Design for a furnishings design program. The 2 are fully various things. Structure is about areas, however what I like about furnishings design is that it’s very intimate. You truly use the issues that you just design.
What I additionally realised is that typically college solely teaches about design, however not about making issues. A number of the designers I met after I got here again from college can do design; however when it comes to structural, materials data, they’re not at skilled stage. So, they rely on producers for the technical aspect of issues. However my college taught us find out how to make. I got here from a background of makers. So, I’m capable of make furnishings out of wooden with my very own palms. I understand how to weld metal and find out how to forged concrete; something that has to do with making. And once I got here again from college, I used to be ready to make use of these experiences that I had in class to speak to the producer staff.

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Are you able to inform us about your position as Managing Director of Bika? What, precisely, does that place entail?
I just about do every thing. Effectively, we’re not a giant firm. We have now our manufacturing however we even have our designers, we’ve a retail store. So, I just about need to know every thing. I nonetheless do the artistic route for the corporate. I nonetheless design among the items within the collections, I select folks I need to work with, manufacturers that we need to signify, I work on how a retailer is about up, after which we do customized work. So, there are a number of issues on my plate. However by some means it makes me a extra balanced particular person, as a result of I work on a artistic stage, to dealing with enterprise, to working with folks. I feel as Managing Director, you type of need to have that functionality to be balanced.

“If a product is made with care and a spotlight, whoever sees it is going to be capable of see it. And that soul, that dialog, will get translated from makers to the shoppers”

On Bika’s web site, you said that “we consider in making furnishings with soul … furnishings that displays the love and care and a spotlight given to its manufacture.” Are you able to elaborate on that? How do you “make furnishings with soul”?
Anyone could make chairs, tables, and beds, proper? However sure corporations, sure merchandise, keep within the thoughts of consumers for a very long time, as a result of that product means one thing to them. Both it’s the standard or it simply appears good or it stirs one thing inside. If a product is made with care and a spotlight, whoever sees it is going to be capable of see it. And that soul, that dialog, will get translated from makers to the shoppers. That’s what “furnishings with a soul” means.
If you happen to purchase furnishings during which the standard will not be there, if the makers don’t actually care concerning the veneers, proportion is off, and many others … I don’t suppose you’ll need to maintain these items for a very long time. And I feel that furnishings, that piece, is an object that has no life, that has no soul. We wish our merchandise to remain in our purchasers’ houses and be part of it. And once they see the merchandise, they get reminded of us, and so they’re completely happy. It’s a praise for us when any individual is available in and says “I nonetheless do not forget that piece,” which it occurs just a few occasions. I feel the soul is like that. It’s like if in case you have that connection, if one thing speaks to you, which means it has one thing, proper? If I’m simply designing a bit of furnishings with none attachment to it as an artist, I don’t suppose that object will talk the identical ardour and heartfulness to those that see it.

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And as a designer what’s your private method or design language?
I occur to, when it comes to my very own design works, make a number of accent items. Which implies each piece has a narrative, an idea. As an illustration, I’ve this one eating desk that I name “Dahan.” One of many the reason why I picked the title – which suggests “branches” – is as a result of I really like wanting up at timber.
The veneer work follows the look of branches criss-crossing. However the title “Dahan” is definitely primarily based on my dad and mom’ names: David and Hannah. So, conceptual work is all the time one thing that I get pleasure from doing. That’s my private method to design.
However when it comes to the collections that we’ve, I wish to maintain the story inside. It’s not like we’re simply designing something; there must be a reasoning or a narrative behind it, on how we provide you with the design.

How do you select manufacturers to distribute by Bika? What do you search for in a model earlier than you contemplate including them to Bika’s portfolio?
We’re an organization of makers. When selecting manufacturers, I all the time need to see the individuals who run the corporate. If the founder remains to be very a lot concerned, I’d wish to work with the corporate. As a result of it reveals the eagerness that they nonetheless have for the corporate. I don’t suppose companies like us is barely about cash. It’s about that drive, ardour of creating one thing distinctive, making one thing that’s lovely for folks’s houses. If the founders are nonetheless within the enterprise, that’s the type of connections that I’m in search of in Bika and the manufacturers that we stock.

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