A Singapore Icon Returns
Nathan Yong’s signature Breakstool has been relaunched at Gallery & Co., along with a new Breakchair version.
The Breakstool is recognised as one of Yong’s most significant works. Within six months of the Breakstool’s debut in the Singapore market in 2006, it was bought by French modern furniture company Ligne Roset, and helped propel Yong into the international design scene. Locally, the Breakstool also earned Yong the International Furniture Fair Award Singapore that same year, while more recently, it was included as a permanent display in DesignSingapore’s 50 Years of Singapore Design Exhibition at the National Design Centre.
With the release of the trademark in 2013, and the design’s 10th anniversary this year, Yong shares that the timing seemed right to revisit the Breakstool during the month of National Day.
“I feel it is only fitting to revisit the one piece that led to my career in the international market as a Singaporean designer and I am very grateful to be able to do my country proud through my work,” says Yong.
“The team at Gallery & Co. have always been avid supporters of the local design community, and being in a museum environment, I believe there’s no other space more appropriate to celebrate the relaunch of the Breakstool and the newly designed Breakchair. I think it is very appropriate to show visitors, be it locals or tourists, the local content,” he adds.
The Breakstool is moulded from a single sheet of plywood, and its design stems from the desire to create a stool with a comfortable curved surface that challenges the archetypal shape of stools, which is usually assembled with multiple flat elements. Given that plywood sheets cannot be bent in two directions through various techniques, Yong’s solution was to add slits on both sides of the stool. The result is an illusion that the stool is breaking apart, when in fact the outward splaying actually increases the stool’s stability.
The chair version serves as a “natural evolution” of the Breakstool, says Yong. “ I always love to design chairs. The idea was to use the same mould, and fit the back with a plywood press.”
“It’s actually a very simple solution – a very simple shape, and humorous. I think that is the beauty of it, that everybody understands and get it,” he says.