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Nestled at the crossroads of artistry and design lies the world of Seattle-based South Korean innovator, Jay Sae Jung Oh. Her Savage series stands as a testament to her craftsmanship, blurring the boundaries between sculpture and furniture. Each piece, a symphony of intricacy and allure, conceals a secret within its sumptuous exterior: a meticulous fusion of discarded, predominantly plastic, everyday items, meticulously ensconced in natural fibers or leather cord. By metamorphosing mundane castaways into singular sculptural marvels, Jay seeks to spotlight the staggering waste spawned by our throwaway culture. "I aim to cultivate gratitude for the possessions we already possess, rather than endlessly pursuing novelty," she reveals during our recent conversation.

The genesis of the Savage series traces back a decade, when Jay, a student of industrial design at Michigan's Cranbrook Academy of Art, was struck by the rapid accumulation of refuse, including prototypes from her peers, in nearby dumpsters. This avalanche of waste sparked introspection regarding her complicity in consumerist excess. Motivated by a desire to challenge the notion of obsolescence, Jay began salvaging discarded objects – broken chairs, trays, and pots – imbued with potential. Initially devoid of a grand scheme, her actions soon coalesced into a mission to breathe new life into forsaken relics.

Employing natural materials and artisanal techniques, Jay embarked on her transformative journey. Plant-based jute rope became her medium of choice, wrapping even the most mundane objects with an enchanting allure. The ensuing creations, from humble detergent boxes to intricate side tables, garnered acclaim and catalyzed her ascent into the art world. Yet, Jay's evolution didn't halt there; she continued to innovate, incorporating cowhide leather and refining her wrapping techniques to unveil fresh patterns and textures.

Amidst the creative process, Jay finds solace in the act of manipulation, sculpting disparate objects into cohesive structures. For her, functionality is paramount; each piece must seamlessly merge beauty with utility. While her creations may exude an air of spontaneity, they are meticulously engineered to provide comfort and stability.

As Jay's acclaim grew, so did her access to materials. No longer reliant on dumpsters, she now receives a steady influx of donations from friends and neighbors, occasionally indulging in thrift shop excursions for hidden treasures. However, she remains cognizant of the significance imbued within each object – a tangible link to our collective history and culture. Consequently, personal mementos often find their way into her work, infusing it with a deeply personal resonance.

In Jay Sae Jung Oh's hands, discarded relics transcend their mundane origins, emerging as evocative symbols of resilience and reinvention. Through her Savage series, she beckons us to reconsider our relationship with material possessions, urging us to cherish the overlooked treasures within our grasp.

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