Khai Liew draws on his cultural heritage and his experience and knowledge as a specialist conservator to design and produce furniture informed by the old and the new, the regional and the international. Ultimately, his oeuvre stands as a highly personal and distinctive statement about beauty and utility. Liew’s decades-long championing and promotion of Australian colonial furniture as a conservator, consultant and valuer has led him to curate many significant private and public furniture collections for both state and national art institutions, featuring numerous definitive examples of Australian pioneer vernacular sourced and conserved by Liew.
The production of small editions and one-off furniture commissions takes place in Liew’s Adelaide studio and workshop. Since its formation in 1996, the eponymous practice has employed a small group of highly experienced craftsmen to make Liew’s works.
Liew’s designs have been exhibited at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, Design Museum, London and the Triennale di Milano. His work is represented in the permanent collections of the National Gallery of Australia, Powerhouse Museum, Sydney, Art Gallery of Western Australia, and Art Gallery of South Australia.
Liew is Adjunct Professor, School of Art, Architecture and Design, University of South Australia and a Fellow of the Design Institute of Australia.