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Sing Chan assembles glass fragments for a staggered lighting effect
The Fragment collection comprises pendant lamps, floor lamps and wall lamps
Image: Courtesy of SINGCHAN DESIGN

Sing Chan assembles glass fragments for a staggered lighting effect

The Fragment collection by the Chinese designer comprises table lamps, wall lamps, floor lamps, pendant lights and ceiling lamps. 

by Almas Sadique
Published on : Nov 13, 2023

Chinese designer Sing Chan’s Fragment collection comprises a series of lamps that serve as vessels for his hope for a better future. The product designer, under whose eponymous studio this lighting collection was conceived, shares, “Epidemic, war, and anti-globalisation have been changing our lives. Conflicts have shattered utopias, scattering the debris of reality. The beautiful concepts once proposed have been put to the test, floating like dust in the desert. We begin to wonder that imagination is an outworld, one of the last remaining sanctuaries of mankind. Inexhaustible imagination is our guide, and the reason we persist,” Apart from containing this visceral concept in his lamp designs, Chan also derived inspiration from architecture and history to configure these pieces.

The form and appearance of the lamps making up the Fragment collection is derived from a range of architectural and design features that the lamp designer has observed over the years. He traces the initial influence back to the time when he went to Spain on a study tour. He took photographs of the lobby chandeliers in almost all the buildings that he visited. In the designs of these chandeliers, Chan observed a lucid likeness to church windows. “Given the history of multi-ethnic integration in Spain, such as the combination of Islamic traditional metal frame lighting and church window, I was guided to take inspiration from the church architecture,” the lighting designer shares.

Chan studied various examples of glass used in church architecture to derive the form of the Fragment lamps—from the Erie Cathedral in Cambridge to the Milan Cathedral as well as Christian churches dating back to the fourth and fifth centuries, where the usage of translucent alaburite mounted on wooden frames and fitted on windows scattered light in bits and chunks. His research in the realm of lighting within churches led him to study glass cuts and chisels, vault design, and metal cuts in this realm.

Sing, who founded SINGCHAN DESIGN in Guangzhou, China, in 2020, is dedicated to the task of discovering artefacts and features from past civilisations and eras and reconfiguring them into designs that allude to contemporary aesthetics. This urge to connect the past and the present, through design, can be seen in the Fragment collection as well. Through the lighting design of this collection, Sing attempts to link classical and modern design languages. Although the patterns written on the glass surfaces of the lamps are intricately configured, alluding to the past, the form of the overall product design is fairly simple, bearing the mark of a contemporary object.

The designer used stainless steel to fold the pieces into cones of varying lengths. Glass parts are then cut and fixed onto these frames. The lamp holder, screw and wire are deliberately left exposed. The usage of stainless steel and ultra-small grain glass helps administer an effect of textured and distorted light seeping out of these objects. Due to the many sub-components (of different thicknesses and attributes) that make up each lamp, their appearance changes when observed from different angles. “Due to the refraction of the straight glass, the glass and the light blend with each other, just like the phantom,” the designer shares.

The different types of lamps that make up the Fragment collection includes pendant lamps, wall lamps, ceiling lamps, floor lamps, and table lamps. Describing one of the floor lamps that make up the collection, Sing shares, “It has a sense of distance, which is a kind of sublimity. It stands on the opposite side of gentleness. It has characteristics that gentleness does not have, like a string that is on the edge of a hair.”

Sing first started working on the Fragment collection in 2020. Over the years, he has designed and prototyped more than ten unique designs in this series One of the newer inspirations for his collection is I M Pei's Louvre Pyramid. Recalling the structure’s heavy criticism by the Parisian society for being inconsistent with the French Renaissance style and out of place in the Louvre, Sing asserts, “It seems to be the same as Fragment series, seeking a balance point between the avant-garde and the classical. The glass is attached to the metal to wrap the light, and the light travels through the tight structure, sometimes hitting the wall, sometimes being free, extending infinitely in the limited.”

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