Jeongho Ko is an award winning designer from Seoul, South Korea. He is known for his slice series which was created in collaboration with designer Hyongho Park. We caught up with Jeongho, mid-pandemic, to talk about making connections in the army, the Seoul design scene and the importance of collaboration.
Let’s start by learning a bit about yourself and Hyongho Park. How did that partnership come to be?
JK: We first met each other in the army. After discharge from the army service, we hadn’t met for a while until we connected via Instagram, where we found out we were both working in design. We contacted each other by DM and after talking, we had similar goals and decided to collaborate.
Slice Series by Jeongho Ko and Hyongho Park
Seoul is clearly either becoming or has always been a hub for producing young design talent. How do you view the design scene in Seoul compared to the rest of Korea and to the rest of the world?
JK: From the past, there have been many talented designers in Seoul but they weren’t visible to the rest of the world. Thanks to the development of social media, these talented designers were introduced to the world. I think the design in Seoul is amazing, the result of this can be confirmed as Seoul design is getting more and more attention from the rest of the world.
Does being based in Seoul have an impact on the work you put out?
JK: There is a lot of Korean influence in my work. In fact, the bench (hoerang series) and lighting (Joint light) were inspired directly by the character and culture of Seoul. Seoul is a city where culture moves very fast. Because of this, I can experience various cultures and this allows my work to stay ahead of the trend.
Hoerang Series by Jeongho Ko
Where do you see the importance of collaboration within design and what does being part of a collective mean to you?
Although artists sometimes have personal works, there are many cases where they create works collaborating with various people. I collaborate with other artists who have the same thought process as me. I think there are two main advantages of collaboration. One is that you can work together to do what you can't do alone, and the other is that you can look at things from another person's perspective.
Jeongho Ko in his studio in Seoul, Korea
I think the idea of a different perspective is really important, bringing your own vision and ideas onto the table. Where do you look to find your ideas and your inspiration?
JK: I focus on the environment or objects that can be overlooked because they are ordinary. People always try to find something special, but that makes them overlook the special things that are always around us. In this context, I try to find elements nearby and convey them in a way that people have never seen before.
Can you speak about your relationship with the materials or finishes you choose to use? Why stainless steel for the slice series for example?
JK: Material and finishes are imperative. In the Slice series, we tried to give a strong impression to people. Our question was: How can we express the word “Slice” in a more shocking way? From many ideas, we thought "What if we cut something that seems impossible to be cut?” and steel was the answer. For the finishing, we polished the surfaces that are sliced to highlight the action of the slice.
An illustration of the concept behind Slice Series
Could you highlight some other products or designers within Movimento which really excite you?
I like all the other designers and their amazing work in Movimento. I especially like Seungjoon Song's work. His passion for work and craftsmanship leads to amazing products and makes his work always the highest level. I’m always looking forward to his next piece of work.
Sienna by Seungjoon Song
Find out more about Jeongho Ko and Hyongho Park and support them on Instagram: