Dezeen promotion: to mark 10 years since its launch, independent Chinese furniture brand Fnji added seven pieces to its Crest Line collection and held a theatrical show in Beijing.
Fnji's 10th-anniversary show, titled Dream Flow, was hosted in Beijing's Hey Town Art Center on 1 September 2020.
The show saw Fnji present its most significant furniture designs from the past decade along a dramatic 20-metre-long conveyor belt, which aimed to show the brands highlights from the past ten years.
The show was accompanied by a soundtrack performed by cello artist Song Zhao and an accompanying dance performance. Just behind the belt were objects shrouded by blue curtains.
Fnji's founder, Gao Guqi, emerged at the climax of the show with his young daughter and mimicked the act of flying a traditional Chinese kite, which was projected on stage. The curtains at the back of the stage were then pulled away to reveal "Fnji's 2020 Crest Line new collection".
All of Fnji's collections from the past 10 years, including Crest Line, have been designed in line with the ethos "nature bred, home nourished".
This sees the brand create furniture pieces inspired by natural objects as well as Chinese culture and traditions, using mainly natural materials like wood, leather and stone.
Where possible, the brand tries to preserve existing grains and textures in an attempt to capture "the subtle details and a gentle touch, which cannot be copied by cold and hard industrial manufacturing".
There has been a total of three Fnji collections so far. The first, named Earth Line, was pragmatic in form and had a pared-back aesthetic that closely followed the "native design language" of China.
The second collection, called Fnji Fore, was designed to be more experimental and utilised a diversified material palette that "endowed the furniture with more possibilities".
"After ten years of accumulation, inspired by nature, childhood memory and traditional Chinese culture, the new collections of Fnji's Crest Line have been internalised and abstracted as a more organic and biomimetic design language to express the freedom and smoothness unique to the East," said the brand.
"It explores the aesthetic balance and inspiration world between the East and the West, modernity and tradition, memory and future."
Crest Line is designed to be more high-end and draws upon the themes of nature and childhood memories.
This year the brand has added seven furniture pieces to the collection. This includes the Kite Bed, which boasts a headboard shaped like a swallow-tailed Chinese kite, and the Starfish Chair, which mimics the form of mushrooms that Guqi once saw growing in Japan.
Fnji's first rocking chair, the Peascod Rocking Chair was inspired by the streamlined overall shape of the peapod. Its sloping wooden frame is meant to imitate the shape of a peapod, while the rounded green cushions that cover the seat are meant to loosely resemble the peas inside.
This is accompanied by the Iceberg Sofa, which is composed of a series of angular blocks upholstered with fabric from Danish brand Kvadrat.
It perches on a ripple-edged wooden platform that looks like a puddle of water, intended as a reference to icebergs in the arctic that have been melting as a result of global warming.
There's also the full-leather Armor Armchair and a limited edition of Fnji's Mantis Chair that has been revamped with an Italian cow-hide lining to mark the brand's 10th anniversary.
The collection also includes the King’s Round Table, which is the brand's first piece of furniture created with a metal casting process
"The release of Fnji's high-end line has pushed the furniture design of China to the next stage, which does not simply satisfy the daily aesthetics of family life, but more a cultural product representing the era and people," explained the brand.
"The strength of the design is employed to balance the relationships between the East and the West, tradition and modernity, create future furniture truly belonging to the Chinese people, and change the lifestyle of the contemporary customers," continued the brand.
"This has always been a path of exploration for Fnji over the decade. The thousands of years of cultural heritages of China have provided rich treasure to the original design of China. From Fnji, we have seen more possibilities of Chinese design."
Since its establishment in 2010, Fnji has gone on to open a roster of stores across China with branches in Hangzhou, Beijing, Shenzhen, Suzhou, Shanghai and Chengdu. Each store is designed to reflect its urban locale.
Earlier this year, Dezeen also showcased the interior of the brand's office in Beijing's Shunyi district, which features soft-grey workspaces and textural feature walls.
To find out more about Fnji, visit the brand's website.