Kho Liang Ie was born in 1927 in Magelang, the Dutch East Indies, to Chinese parents. After Indonesia's independence in 1949, the family moved to the Netherlands. After completing his studies in 1954 at the Art Academy, Kho Liang Ie became editor and later editor-in-chief of Goed Wonen (Good Living) magazine. From 1958, he devoted himself entirely to furniture design. Kho (his surname, which he named first according to Chinese custom) died in 1975 at the age of 47.
Around 1958, he established himself as an interior decorator and furniture designer for established names such as Artifort, Bruynzeel and Mosa. He gained fame in 1963 with his interior design for the new Schiphol Airport building. That interior received much praise and was seen as extremely modern and accessible. Kho believed that travellers should not be distracted by overly colourful and lavish furnishings. In his efforts, he opted for clear sightlines and frequent use of glass so that travellers could get a good look at the planes. Unfortunately, all his pioneering designs have disappeared from the airport today.
Liang Ie is deservedly one of the most important Dutch designers of the last century. His real breakthrough came with his Schiphol interior design. After that, almost every Dutchman knows his famous chair, the '305', which was frequently used in schools and the catering industry. The 305 is an easily stackable, functional chair with a wooden seat and back. The metal frame forms a triangle behind the backrest. Well-known designs within the Artifort collection are the 070 and the C683 sofas. The F416 and the C416 are also still frequently used in contemporary interiors.
Many of Kho Liang Ie's designs have ended up in the collections of well-known museums, such as Boijmans van Beuningen and the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam. The work is characterised by terms such as purity, warmth and freedom. His famous K-46 lamp for Atelier Artiforte is a beacon for the brand. Transparent, unaffected and accessible, with a subtle reference to his origins.