Soowon Chae

Department: Man and Well being

Red Ochre and a Wise Man

What: Paying homage to the ingenuity of early humans, Soowon Chae transformed ochre into a new material.

Why: Early humans used ochre as a tool of expression, a tanning agent for animal hides, an adhesive agent for tools, a sunscreen, an insect repellent, a medicine for curing wounds, and a colour for rituals. They observed nature and co-existed with the earth. However, modern manufacturing and consumption have disrupted this symbiosis and damaged our ecosystem.

How: With a range of material samples composed of ochre and gelatine, Soowon Chae not only offers an alternative for leather, but also arouses memories of early mankind’s creativity, survivability and respect for nature. After all, we are all creative and wise humans before manufacturers and consumers.

“Ochre knows”

Copyright Design Academy Eindhoven

Copyright: Design Academy Eindhoven
Photographs: Femke Rijerman