Korean Kitchen Cabinet/Hutch

My Nightingale is an early 19th Century antique Korean kitchen two section cabinet, chest or hutch. The interior has been restored to its original condition. This three tiered cabinet has folding lattice doors with antique Korean locks on each ring pull. The hand-forged iron hardware has been gilded with gold.

Made of Keyaki hardwood (elm) master craftsmanship was used in its assembly. Meticulous grooves and joints hold it together without the use of nails. It fits together like a complex puzzle that is extraordinary in its intricacy. Baltic birch was used to replace the broken panels. A bottom cabinet provides ample storage behind the swinging doors.

It has been painted with inspiration from Korean culture and art in mind so that even though it’s updated, it is a nod to tradition. Traditional Korean furniture often features hardware in the shape of butteries so I added gold butterflies to the design. In Korean culture, butterflies symbolize happiness, contentment, and harmony in the family. Butterflies and flowers are often depicted together in Korean art. The addition of birds makes the design whimsical and reflective of the Korean appreciation for nature.

I used the color blue because the color blue is associated with the element wood and the direction East. In the Korean flag, blue symbolizes eum or yin, which is cool, feminine energy. Eum energy is associated with the moon and is passive, yielding and receptive. Blue is balanced by red in the Korean flag. While red represents the passionate energy of life, blue represents its opposite, death. Traditionally red is associated with fire and the southern direction. Red is symbolized by yang energy, which represents masculine energy, the sun and the life force.

Every aspect of this chest has been carefully chosen and full of symbolic meaning. This is a storage piece that is functional and yet and art piece. You will never see another one of its like anywhere else. It’s full of history and ready for a new chapter to add to its already full book.

16D x 41W x 67H

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