"Sometimes imperfection can also be beautiful. The nature and also, we as human are imperfect. So why we demand the handcrafted product to be perfect? And honestly, a handcrafted wood product is hard to be made perfect. Very hard. First of all, the wood material itself is never perfect."


A Bit of Introduction

Master YK Ho has more than 20 years of woodworking experience. He was born and raised in Hong Kong, a city that people called it “Art Desert” or “Innovation Desert”. However, living in his “desert” doesn’t really scare him away from creating and innovating. Instead, he has chosen to immerse himself and dedicate his whole life to art. YK never enjoys working a typical 9-5 job. He likes to handmade things and has even built an entire sofa at his early age.

“I like using abnormal and unperfected wood as material. Remember unperfected wood does not mean low quality product. Most of the time, after some creative repairing and polishing process, the unperfected part will become the prettiest and the most highlighted part in the whole design”. Master YK Ho said.

YK’s Background and Story

YK started working in a music company at his age of 16. Because of this, he has got the opportunity to play drum. Once he started, he started to fall in love with it and he even started to make his own drum. As most of the drum are made of wood, that’s why YK began to get in touch with wood.

Throughout the process of making drum, he learnt so much about wood, like different wood types, grains, weight, sound, how to polish and etc. By that time, wood has become his favourite material and almost all of his own furniture are handcrafted with wood by him.

All about Time and Effort

YK didn’t just become a master in woodworking overnight. He has devoted so much time and effort in learning, testing and failing. “The beginning is always the hardest. At the 90s, we don’t have YouTube or Google. Everything is about test and error. Even if you got a teacher, you cannot always fully rely on him or her. You still have to test and error by yourself. Then you start learning.” But of course, like everyone else,

YK has been doubtful about himself throughout the test and error process, and thought about giving up. “Never give up and keep on trying.” he said. “Be confident as the degree of confidence determines whether you can succeed or not.”

After so many times of trials and failures, YK started to understand the behind concept. Eventually he has successfully developed his own special way of woodworking and drum making. “Attitude determines your altitude.” he said. “It’s very cliché, but it is just how things work.” he continued. Apparently, perseverance and positive attitude are the most important elements contributing to YK’s success.

YK’s Ways of Innovating

Like most of the designer, YK doesn’t really like restriction or rules. He thinks people should not limit their thinking inside the box. Or in other words, people should never have a model answer to a particular problem. “We should also use reverse thinking when we are brainstorming.” YK said. Thinking from different perspectives or thinking back from the desired outcomes are ways to get more ideas.

Interestingly, YK’s new ideas always came when he was jogging or when he couldn’t sleep. “Peace. I will say peace is important for having new ideas. When you calm your mind, new ideas come.” he said confidently. YK also doesn’t like to expect one specific outcome in the process of creating. He prefers to make changes throughout the whole creating process. Probably, that is why his designs are always unconventional, unprecedented and unexpected.

Why Handcrafting?

Handcrafting is YK favourite interest. He can spend days and nights handmaking different things. “I like handcrafting because I know how to appreciate imperfection. After repairing and polishing, imperfection is always the most beautiful part of an art piece.” he said.

YK doesn’t like machine making product because he thinks they are all identical and they are too “flawless”. He thinks that they are too boring and commercial. YK also enjoy appreciating the wood grains and colour while he is woodworking. “Different piece of wood got different grains, even they are from the same tree!” said YK excitedly.