Mark Chai (born in Honolulu) is a Hawaiian-Chinese sculptor who handcrafts fine woods and recycled materials into modern lamps, sculpture, large installations and furniture.
His handcrafted modern lamps have been featured in Dwell, the New Yorker, House Beautiful and Home magazines, and seen in Travel & Leisure, Modern Luxury Hawaii, and in Wallpaper* magazine’s Honolulu City Guide. Three of Chai's sculptures are prominently displayed in the lobby of Disney's Aulani Hotel on Oahu. Honolulu magazine named him one of Hawaii’s hottest designers. His work is featured in the Honolulu Museum of Art’s 2016-17 year-long exhibit, “Hawaii in Design.” A dozen of his lamps appeared in the Hawaii season of the television show, “Real World.” Two of Chai's sculptures of recycled plastic were purchased by the Hawaii State Foundation on Culture and the Arts, and displayed in the Hawaii State Art Museum.
His custom wooden lamps light Chef Ed Kenney's restaurants town, Kaimuki Superette, and Mahina & Sun's, and Art After Dark at the Honolulu Museum of Art.
Chai says his inspirations are the play of light and shadow in glowing camp fires on the beach, and moonlight shining through the leaves of palm trees. He wanted to make lamps because, "I wanted to interact with the viewer. What better way than to turn something on?" His work has been described as "cutting edge hanging lamps of intricate interlocking pieces of cut and finished plywood. The effect is origami in thin air with distinctive Hawaii touches."
He received his BFA from the University of Hawaii, Manoa, in 1976