After featuring Huabiao Shan’s work from Hangzhou on EightSix a couple of years ago, we were lucky enough to sit down with him this month and discuss his new furniture brand, Shanliang and what motivates him as a young Chinese designer.
I am a young Chinese furniture designer from Zhejiang province. I grew up in Hangzhou, and my parents are both furniture manufacturers, making traditional Chinese furniture, something they have done for around 20 years now. This influenced me in a big way in my formative years, but what they produce is old in style and not innovative. From this, I decided I had to do something different to improve Chinese furniture but with a contemporary focus. Then in 2013 I had the opportunity to set up Shanliang to realise this dream.
Shanliang focuses on the exploration and manufacture of contemporary oriental furniture, seeking a modern edge based on traditional culture and craftsmanship. Shanliang uses quality materials and craft to produce furniture that is extremely durable.
I studied at Zhejiang University for my Masters degree in design and art. My wife, Guanbo Liang studied at Berlin University and achieved her Masters in visual communication. Nowadays, many Chinese students go overseas to study design, and I think it is beneficial for Chinese design. But for me, I think now is the perfect opportunity to start my own business in China, so I am happy to stay here.
Many designers inspire me; my teacher Professor Fang from Zhejiang University, Kenya Hara, Dieter Rams and Naoto Fukasawa.
In 10 years, I want to be more international, and presenting all my designs internationally.