COM is a design studio that was established in 2015 by Sejoong Kim, who majored in spatial design at Kookmin University, and Joowon Han, who majored in stage art at Korea National University of Arts. COM designs spaces and furniture with various characteristics, from commercial spaces for unspecified individuals to offices where different members work together. COM’s projects include the HYBE office building (2021/collaboration with FHHH), a café called Iwangsan Daechoong Park (2019), JTBC PLAY (2020/furniture design), khakis (2020/furniture design). The studio has also participated in exhibitions, including a group exhibition, New Wave II: Design, Thinking about the Public (2018/Kumho Museum), and a solo exhibition, The Last Resort (2021/Hobbyist). COM is pronounced “see-oh-em.”

Lucky House

The title “Lucky House” consists of objects capturing the wishes of a family. This work follows a format of furniture that allows you to look inside or sit on it. The exterior of the furniture is in the form of animals or patterns that have traditionally meant longevity, wisdom, and wealth, and the pieces are filled with objects that correspond to such wishes.

Some furniture looks like a combination of a monkey and a bookcase. The inside of the bookcase is filled with notable people’s biographies for children. This represents the hope of Koreans for their children’s success, while the monkey symbolizes wisdom and success. Another piece of furniture is in the shape of a tortoise that is combined with a table, on top of which are viewing stones (suiseki) in unusual forms. Inside the wardrobe, standing on the other side, are duvets and pillows with various wishes embroidered on them. The composition shows odd-looking furniture pieces that wish for blessings standing here and there like totem poles. The surface texture of the furniture will be expressed using a stage painting technique with materials that are difficult or impossible to use for ordinary furniture finishing materials, such as marble, water, burning smoke, and blue (molybdenum) bronze. This is to show the strangeness of these objects that seem to be wishing for blessings by considering the characteristics of the western corridor of the old Seoul Station building, where this work will be installed. Viewers will especially appreciate this installation as they approach it from a distance.

  • Variable size
  • 2021
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2. Home Sweet Home

People project various but identical desires—such as longevity, health, and the acquisition of goods—onto objects, and live with those objects in their living spaces. Objects of happiness that can be found anywhere in the world— such as a fancy mattress embroidered with turtles or cranes, a maneki-neko in the form of a cat that is considered to bring guests or money, and a Dala horse in Sweden, which is said to bring home peace—are often made based on long-lived animals or plants, or animals that are considered auspicious in different cultures of the world. These objects and ornaments exist in bedding, kitchens, and children’s study rooms in various forms. The ‘Home Sweet Home’ chapter of the exhibition consists of works by Studio COM, which expands the visual enjoyment of a flat plane to a variety of objects. Works that reinterpreted objects of happiness allow us to look at scenes we are familiar with from a bit different perspective. How good would it be if we could accumulate happiness like goods and use them whenever necessary?

Slowly with a turtle
Quickly with a crane
With a Turtle
With a Crane