The Role of Wood Art in Oriental-Inspired Design

The Role of Wood Art in Oriental-Inspired Design

The world has increasingly become one global city. Nowadays, more people have shown a preference for traveling to far-flung countries, discovering cultures, and appreciating art from all over the world. As a direct consequence, different and eclectic interior design styles have emerged. One of these is Oriental design. From using ceramic jars to wood wall art, this interior design concept incorporates specific pieces that stimulate the mystique of the Far East.

The Oriental cultural tradition is typically dominated by functional simplicity and religion. As such, it is not surprising to find simple household items in addition as religious icons and other ceremonial pieces in most Asian homes. Perhaps the most basic pieces of Oriental interior design are the wooden home accents that figure prominently within it. For those who are a bit more adventurous and would want to incorporate their travels and their passion for art and culture into their home décor, but are reluctant to do a complete renovation, consider using just a few meaningful pieces to infuse your home with the same effect.

Of the prevailing cultural traditions, Thai, Chinese, and Balinese cultures all include wooden pieces that are either utilitarian or ceremonial in character as part of every home’s décor. Wooden carvings of elephants rule Thai homes and public structures, while Chinese furniture pieces such as beds, chairs, and tables regularly figure in most homes. Meanwhile, wooden statues of Buddha in varying sizes and poses also figure prominently not just in Balinese homes but in public temples in addition.

The main reason why wood has come to rule oriental interior design is because it is the most ubiquitous material in those regions. Along with the existence of this easily-accessed material came the development of Asia’s wood-carving tradition, by which wood is used to carve different kinds of objects for household or ceremonial purposes. Household items include furniture, chests and containers, while craftsmen have also produced carvings and sculptures for religious purposes such as icons and statuettes. Over the years, wood carving has evolved into a simple part of daily life into a large industry that has produced beautiful creations exemplified by gorgeous sculptures, furniture, and wood wall art.

Of all the types of wood used for these pieces, Teak or “Tectona grandis” remains as the most popular. The name Teak is in fact derived from the Malayan information “tekka,” demonstrating its importance in Asian culture and daily life. Teak is native to Burma and Thailand but may also be found throughout the Malay Archipelago. Teak timber is an ideal medium because it is soft enough to carve but is hard enough to resist the elements. As a material, it is highly valued because it is a virtually imperishable material due to its durability. Another important advantage to using Teak is that it is has natural similarities that make it resistant to known wood destroyers such as termites, wood mites, and other insects.

Today, wood carving has remained to be an native tradition that has withstood the times. Due to its ubiquity and integral role in major Asian cultural traditions, wood has successfully retained its economic and cultural importance.

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