Shanghai-based (and Design Academy Eindhoven-trained) designer Hunn Wai's new Ping-Pong table for Mein Studio's Gallery space takes Ping Pong back to its Victorian roots as an after dinner game played in dining rooms. Made with Corian, the table top-cum-playing surface features a Rococo design routed from the material and filled with gold lacquer. Hand-lathed wood legs are a nod to the original. We asked Wai about his inspiration for the piece.
Cool Hunting: Do you play Ping Pong? How did you come up with the idea?
Hunn Wai: Yes, I do play Ping Pong and I did come up with the idea. I did some research on the beginnings of Ping Pong and it was a eureka moment when I found out the Victorians were playing on their dining tables back in the day an indoor version of tennis as after dinner amusement. I looked to how far the present day Ping Pong table had deviated from that. So as a reaction I wanted to design this table as how it should have evolved naturally from its Victorian ancestor, but with an updated material, DuPont Corian, and today's manufacturing techniques to really bring it into our time.
Cool Hunting: You recently made collaborated on a piece for Paul Smith that had similar aspects. Can you tell us about that?
Hunn Wai: Well the Paul Smith project was me using my role as a designer to "transfer" his brand's essence, in particular from a pair of sneakers of his I owned onto a flea-market find. While that was more of a piece for communication of an idea, a concept, this new work is actually for consumption, a product by itself, designed.
Cool Hunting: What's next for you?
Hunn Wai: At the moment I am also working on a project with my girlfriend Francesca Lanzavecchia, but I am unable to elaborate anything further on that.
All photos by Daniel Peh K.L.
More photos after the jump.