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2008 Index
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Play 2008arrow

Play 2008
American black walnut, wool
750x800x800

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Play 2008
American black walnut, wool
750x800x800

Medhurst 2008arrow

Medhurst 2008
White birch multiply
750x2405x550

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Medhurst 2008
White birch multiply
750x2405x550

RWR 2008arrow

RWR 2008
American black walnut,
mulberry bark paper
2100x2700x24

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RWR 2008
American black walnut,
mulberry bark paper
2100x2700x24

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Principal Suite 2008 
Admiralty House, Sydney 

In the realm of bedroom furniture, Khai Liew’s most publicly important commission yet came in 2008 from the Australiana Fund, established in 1978 to acquire Australian works of art and design for the official residences of the Governor-General and the Prime Minister.

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Principal Suite 2008 
Admiralty House, Sydney 

In the realm of bedroom furniture, Khai Liew’s most publicly important commission yet came in 2008 from the Australiana Fund, established in 1978 to acquire Australian works of art and design for the official residences of the Governor-General and the Prime Minister.

Following a practice established by the New South Wales Historic Houses Trust, the Fund is now acquiring select works of Australian contemporary art or design able to be used, seen or set beside the more usual nineteenth or twentieth-century period items that furnish official residences. Liew’s commission from the Fund was to design a suite of furniture, consisting of a pair of bedside tables, a bedhead and wardrobe for Admiralty House, the Sydney residence of the Governor-General.

His response with the bedside tables was a development of his Sophie table, made in 2007 for his own use, the Portia chest of drawers, the Lavis chair, and more distantly the very finely joined and veneered CSK side table. The Admiralty House tables have the angled-in cross banding and internally indented tapering legs seen in the Sophie, but also matching offset apron folds inclining proud 6 millimetres on their faces. The bedhead is composed of four carved horizontal Japanese fan pleat panels applied to a back support and held in a two-way chamfered frame. The major piece in the commission is the wardrobe, an imposing breakfront (decidedly gubernatorial) work disposed as six waisted vertical fan pleat door panels hung between the plinth and cornice on brass hinges. A ceramic cipher depicting a sprig of wattle surmounted by the English crown is in the centre of the cornice.

© Peter Ward, April 2010

 

Bedside table 2008arrow

Bedside table 2008
Rose mahogany
620x650x600

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Bedside table 2008
Rose mahogany
620x650x600

Bedhead 2008arrow

Bedhead 2008
Rose mahogany
1600x2000x55

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Bedhead 2008
Rose mahogany
1600x2000x55

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Southern Ocean Lodge 2008
South Australia 

In 2008 Khai Liew was asked by Baillie Lodges to design lighting and furniture for their luxury resort, Southern Ocean Lodge, then nearing completion on a wild private coastal wilderness strip of Kangaroo Island, South Australia.

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Southern Ocean Lodge 2008
South Australia 

In 2008 Khai Liew was asked by Baillie Lodges to design lighting and furniture for their luxury resort, Southern Ocean Lodge, then nearing completion on a wild private coastal wilderness strip of Kangaroo Island, South Australia. His response to this major commission saw him produce public work on greater scale in number and in one case size than hitherto. His Sally light shades for the dining area had their prototype in a rectangular wooden framed and slatted light shade made for a client in 2004. For the Lodge non-reflective laser cut timber was used to craft tapering bladed hexagonal forms. His James sofas in the central guest area were his response to its often wild outlook. ‘I made them like a dogs’ baskets, to curl up in,’ Liew says, ‘inviting and warm, with woven lattice sides, enclosing curved box frames, deep feather cushions on strapped platforms.’ They are accompanied by Liew’s Robinson stools as side tables.

The Hayley table presented Liew with a singular challenge: it had to seat up to 14 people on high stools while leaving one side free for serving staff. This resulted in the largest piece of furniture he has yet designed at more than five and a half metres long by a metre and a half wide. Made in two parts, connected by metal stretchers, and supported by six robust buttressing yet visually light v-shaped legs, it gives a long sculptural focus to the northern end of the Lodge’s central guest area. For the Wilson Junior table lamps and Wilson Senior standard lamps he sought simple functional solutions and opted for natural wood, leather trimmed mulberry bark paper shades, and intricate leather detailing on the standard.

© Peter Ward, April 2010

 

Hayley 2008arrow

Hayley 2008
American white oak
980x5500x1050

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Hayley 2008
American white oak
980x5500x1050

James 2008
American white oak, upholstered
695x2980x800

Sally 2008
American white oak
600x560