Recently, FNJI, an independent furniture design brand in China, held the largest and most innovative product launch conference since its establishment respectively in the five cities of Beijing, Shanghai, Chengdu, Shenzhen and Hangzhou. The conference issued FNJI’s latest creative commercial film in 2019, Journey to FNJI. In addition, FNJI’s high-end line, Crest Line furniture, was also unveiled for the first time.
FNJI has been committed to the brand concept of producing practical, sturdy, durable and beautiful everyday furniture since its inception in 2010. “FN”(梵）means purity and tranquility and “JI”(几）refers to furniture, the combination of which means pure and tranquil furniture. Meanwhile, as FN (梵) is a homophone of FAN (凡) that means “ordinary” in Chinese, FANJI also denotes “ordinary furniture,” thus revealing FNJI’s philosophy of making furniture that is actually used in life and naturally integrated into life.
Since the birth of the brand, FNJI has been concentrating on how to endow traditional craftsmanship with new design language. Reflecting on the multiple ways of inheritance, the brand takes furniture design as a starting point to create the possibility of a new lifestyle and hopes to slowly influence the aesthetic taste in more aspects of life. What is the beauty that takes root in China? It is a question that FNJI has always been thinking about and exploring.
Different from the restraint in cultures of Japan and Northern Europe, there is a free and easy soul in Chinese culture that is supported by profound foundation and fully embraces the world. FNJI expects to express China’s unique fluency and freedom through deeper and more subtle ways and to freely bring the inspiration from all directions into full play. Based on the production of daily furniture, this time FNJI launches a high-end product line, Crest Line, that radiates more ethereal and solemn mood.
After 3 years of repeated deliberation on design, structure and craft, Crest Line takes in FNJI’s understanding about Chinese design in the last 10 years and launches mantis chair as its flagship product. Meanwhile, the previous FNJI Main Line was renamed Earth Line, with a series of Earth Line products launched concurrently. This product launch conference has presented the greatest and most creative update of furniture in terms of scale and design since FNJI’s inception.
Crest Line obtains inspiration from nature, childhood memory and traditional Chinese culture, gently emitting oriental beauty through a picturesque but not realistic design language. The design combines FNJI’s highest level of craft with unique lively perception and adopts a larger proportion of natural materials that have more curves and greater complexity. Compared with Earth Line’s straight-line expression, Crest Line tends to showcase a sculpture-like beauty in furniture through changing lines.
In terms of choice of materials, FNJI always uses solid wood as main body and Crest Line adds several natural materials such as leather, wool cloth, and stone to create multiple combinations by ingeniously grasping the variation rhythm of materials. FNJI favors rough instead of shinning texture, which is also the major texture of nature. Travertine, a porous rock that derives from geologic variation and accumulates the power of nature, is a good example. This is in line with FNJI’s essential concept of “born in wilderness and settle in house,” a return to nature and simplicity.
Apart from the adoption of materials, FNJI has very consistent pursuit of wood color. To present a more lively black, the design team created two brand new wood colors after 2 years of experiments, new steed black and koala black. They used chemical reactions to open up the wood’s texture and naturally changed its color. Modified with transparent wood wax, repeated polish, extended processing period, the wood finally presents the ideal new colors. For FNJI, black has more than 50 variations, all of which have unique characteristics, a result from color deviation, texture, luminance, and transparency. FNJI’s precise perception of furniture is perfectly embodied in these tiny differences.
In regard to design, Crest Line continues FNJI’s persistent perception of nature and traditional life and integrates eastern philosophy into design. Mountain sofa adopts levitated symmetrical design. Its bigger bottom, smaller top, smooth surface and stable structure embody the immortal spirit of Chinese Taoism. Round fan screen is made of solid wood frame and porous rattan surface, just like the convergence of the void and the solid in Chinese ink painting, also like the planets in the universe. The birdcage cabinet series are inspired by traditional street life and is similar with the ancient wooden cabinet for collectables, displaying how inheritance takes place in an unconscious way.
The design of Crest Line features lots of twists and turns of lines. In dealing with curves, FNJI rejects western heat blending technique that relatively saves materials and chooses traditional Chinese way of cutting out an intact curve from a large solid wood to preserve the wood’s veins to the greatest extent. As a result, horizontal, vertical, sparse and dense veins in the wood exhibit extreme natural beauty. The armrests of BELLY sofa have inward curves and sub-triangular torsion design. One can put elbows in the smooth area in the torsions to keep a comfortable posture. This three-dimensional line change can only be achieved by wood craftsman’s hands. Therefore, each sofa is a little different from one the other while all of them reflect a natural atmosphere and the vivid beauty created by hands.
It is worth mentioning that Crest Line furniture series have designed several pieces of furniture with lights to break the conventional conception boundaries between furniture and lamps. A piece of practical furniture can serve as an additional light source to create atmosphere. Due to delicate design of furniture and well-arranged high and low layout of lamps, light has different presentations and generates a hazy and harmonious beauty through wire mesh or battens. Therefore, a few pieces of furniture with lights can easily add atmosphere to numerous nights.
Earth Line, the previous FNJI Main Line, is devoted to making solid, durable and beautiful furniture used in daily life. Paying attention to practicality, Earth Line takes the efficient use of cost and space as priority design consideration. Infused with typical Chinese design language such as simplicity and purity, the furniture design integrates into daily life. What’s more, this time Earth Line launches rattan series. The combination of solid wood and rattan endows lightness and richer visual contents to the furniture.
At present, FAJI Crest Line and Earth Line series have been officially offered for sale on the website www.fnji.com since Aug. 30, and at all stores across the country from Sept. 1.