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EnCube is a piece of bespoke furniture that provides containment to our precious collected objects. With the secret compartments that are designated specifically to them, they remain to be concealed from outsiders. Only with the owner's knowledge, would one be granted access to the treasured pieces. Through rekindling, we could reminisce the memories and relationships between our sentimental items, while developing a form of sustainable practice.

Humans are nostalgic creatures. At times, we yearned for the past - activities or sentimental objects. These objects may not be valuable to others but to the user, it is a Knick-Knack, a Bric-a-Brac, a Memento — pieces of memory. Keeping and collecting meaningful objects may in fact reduce wastage, as there's an old saying, “one man's trash is another man's treasure", but where do we keep these curios or artefacts?

For centuries, secret compartments have been built into boxes to conceal the owner’s most valuable belongings and private documentation. As technology advances, these compartments became an Art of Concealment to illustrate the ability and ingenuity of a box maker. This project seeks to rekindle the crafts of hidden spaces in a modern piece of private furniture to improve storage problems and reminisce the memories of our valuable everyday items. With the aid of a decoding passage and collection of curios, it invites viewers through a journey of cryptic conundrums and rediscover the secret compartments within. One could also narrate the story to visitors and sparks conversations.

The EnCube is an inheritance box constructed by an artisan before his passing with an intention of searching for a successor. It represents a memento of his artistry, the last and most enigmatic of his fabrications. This fine piece of containment demonstrates the Art of Concealment, a skill the artisan possessed from his passion in woodworking and obsession with puzzles. It contains curios of his indulgence, each providing fragments of clues and his memoirs with them. Only through meticulous investigations may one throw light on the whereabouts of the last compartment and uncover the true relic, in which the narrative is composed upon.

James Sua - EnCube, 2017,

made of maple & wenge, dim 30 x 30 x 30 cm,

ADM Final Year Project (NTU) with Peter Chen, © jsky21.com

Mechanisms

EnCube (Artefacts \ Curios)