Conceived and designed by Frank Leung, ‘nao’ is the first creation of the studio’s product and lifestyle brand – one k edition. The sculptural object, comprising a concrete candle and incense tray, was inspired by a trip to the island of Naoshima where Frank spent a week in 2019.

From initial sketches, three textural patterns were rendered through 3D models and molds, designed to recall scenes and memories of Naoshima through a sense of touch. From there, each piece was assiduously handcasted and perfected by the artisans of local concrete studio, Shabibi Sheep Workshop.

“nao is an expression of our constant desire to immerse in nature, art and heritage through one’s travels…”

To craft three bespoke candles, via. worked with the scent artisan from BeCandle. ‘Yakisugi’ is an ode to the architecture on the island, with a blend of wooden notes housed inside a shou sugi ban pattern. ‘Fern’ takes the essence of the forest, featuring the touch of leaf veins on the concrete. ‘Aubergine’ combines botanicals and spices, and encased in a smooth concrete finish.

Design by via.

Partners: Shabibi Sheep Workshop, BeCandle

Completed Year: 2021

Photographer: Kenneth Chao