Tsukumogami, in Japanese folklore, refers to household objects that gain “sentience” and start to cause mischief – as a result of being treated carelessly by their owners after they’ve been in service for 100 years.
It’s an allegory that entreats people to treat even inanimate objects with respect and it’s a philosophy at the heart of this company founded by Singapore-born, Japan-based Bryan Teo four months ago.
Aeae Furniture‘s speciality: vintage furniture, furnishings and objets d’art sourced from the country, usually with a utilitarian, mid-century sensibility – all available on its website (www.aeaefurniture.com). There’s also a newly opened showroom over at Depot Road.
Aeae Furniture founder Bryan Teo
Coming from a background in visual merchandising, Teo looks out for pieces that “possess a good balance of functionality and elegance” as well as those with battle scars to show.
“Vintage and antique pieces usually present themselves with signs of wear that make them so much more appealing,” he says. The 32-year-old sources throughout Japan, singling out Tohoku for cast iron pieces and Hokkaido for timber furniture.
Aeae also carries a smattering of new items all guided by Teo’s MO of thoughtful, well-priced designs that serve both people and the environment. “We have chairs from the ’50s that are still functional yet there are chairs that were designed not too long ago that are already in landfills,” he says.
“For me, design has nothing to do with price. It has more to do with an understanding of material and design acumen. If plastics take an average of 250 years to degrade, shouldn’t we be designing a product that can be used for as long a time?”
Below, a gallery of pieces you can expect from Aeae Furniture.