Who: Johor Baru-born Chan Yung Khang has always loved to draw and he recalls indulging in this activity at every opportunity, or as he puts it, “whenever I got a pencil”. Eventually, he found that his interest extended to making actual objects from what he drew, from fashion accessories to cartoon models. This was the beginnings of his love of three-dimensional design. After secondary school, he enrolled at the Malaysian Institute of Art to study industrial design. He then furthered his studies at Birmingham City University in the UK, majoring in product design. It was during this time that he developed a passion for creating beautiful items to enhance the home.
What: Chan founded e-commerce site HOMM in September 2013 to sell his own creations as well as items designed and made by young artists and established master craftsmen. HOMM focuses primarily on minimalist and contemporary products, most of which are handmade. Good quality and workmanship are the hallmarks of the company, hence the products, which celebrate the beauty of raw, natural materials such as wood, bamboo and rattan, are not painted or overly varnished. “The textures, colour, surface finish and even odour of natural materials are irreplaceable,” Chan enthuses.
His creations include a sofa built with a lounger and a charming rocking stool that is an interesting twist on a bar stool. He says inspiration can hit anytime, anywhere, including from observing things happening around him and from surfing the Net. To him, good design must pass the test of time and not go out of style. Good design must also be harmonious and awake one’s senses. He wants his products to bring a sense of happiness to the customers.
With HOMM, Chan wants to enable Malaysians to buy well-designed products at reasonable prices. He aims to have an international consumer base as well. “There is an incredible amount of beautifully crafted yet relatively inexpensive [products] being produced in Malaysia today. Much of that is unavailable outside of the country and it is my goal to introduce them [overseas] and promote Malaysian craftsmanship and cultures.”
Where: Shop for HOMM’s collection of homeware and furniture at hommdesignshop.wix.com/homm and designation.co. For more information about Chan and his designs, visit yungkhang-90.wix.com/industrialdesign.
This article first appeared in haven,digitaledge Weekly, on Issue #74 August + September 2015.