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Pearl Lam Galleries Hong Kong
601-605, 6/F, Pedder Building,
12 Pedder Street
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Pearl Lam Design at Design Miami/Basel 2014
by Pearl Lam Galleries Hong Kong
Location: Stand G06, Hall 1 Sud, Messe Basel, Switzerland
Artist(s): GROUP SHOW
Date: 17 Jun - 22 Jun 2014

Pearl Lam Design is participating at the latest edition of Design Miami/Basel with works that reinvent 5,000 years of traditional Chinese arts and crafts by multidisciplinary designers from a variety of backgrounds, furthering the gallery’s mission to foster cross-cultural dialogue between China and the West. By inviting international designers to travel to China to work with skilled local craftsmen, Pearl Lam Design encourages the cross- fertilisation of ideas, resulting in pieces that reflect China’s social and economic condition through rich and provocative narratives. The stand will feature new specially commissioned pieces by Reinier Bosch, Studio Swine, Bouke de Vries, and Danful Yang, along with pieces by XYZ Design, Christian Ghion, and artist-drafter Pierre Marie Lejeune.

For over 20 years, Pearl Lam has been an advocate for design as an art form in China and around the world, inviting established and emerging designers, both international and local, to push the boundaries of traditional Chinese art and craft techniques, and create new works that embody their experiences in China. All of the works have been produced in China using traditional art and crafts—or reinventing them—with the exception of Pierre Marie Lejeune’s sculptural pieces from Europe, and continue the galleries cultivation of Chinese philosophy and aesthetics in craftsmanship, while exploring Western perspectives of China.

Dutch designer Reinier Bosch’s cabinets, table and mirror are inspired by the Miao people, a minority group in southern China, as well as the city of Shanghai. He began to conceive these works before graduating from the Design Academy Eindhoven in 2006. Bosch wanted to explore China’s big cities and rural areas to gain a broader perspective on the entire country, which led him to the remote villages of the Miao tribe. He returned in 2011 upon being invited by Pearl Lam Design, and was surprised by how the government was transforming once quiet villages into tourist attractions. Through his collection, Bosch aims to pay homage to the traditional hand-woven fabrics, pleated skirts, and tribal culture of the Miao people. His cabinets are inspired by the structure of Miao houses, as well as Shanghai skyscrapers. The shape of Miao skirt pleats are incorporated into his aluminum table and steel mirror designs.

London-based Studio Swine’s Hair Highway is a collection of objects that include a dressing table, stool, and accessories, which are all made up of a new composite material that the Studio created using human hair and a natural resin. The hard translucent material is reminiscent of tortoise shell and polished horn. Hair Highway explores the potential of hair, proposing a parallel between it and the ancient Silk Road, which facilitated cultural interaction between the East and West. The objects are inspired by Shanghai Art Deco and are made with traditional Chinese crafts.

Bouke de Vries gives damaged objects new narratives in his Guanyin porcelain sculptures outfitted with technological updates, using skills he developed and evolved as a ceramics conservator. The Dutch designer was struck by how an almost-invisible hairline crack or tiny rim chip could render a once-valuable object practically worthless. By reviving broken objects in a new way, he aims to instill in them new virtues. De Vries’ works often reference art/history, as well as current issues.

Chinese designer Danful Yang’s playful stools, titled Packing Me Softly, cast light on often- overlooked packing boxes by remaking them in luxurious embroidered silk. The packing box, which often protects precious contents, finally receives the respect it deserves instead of being carelessly tossed aside. Yang’s Sugar Town features two versions of a wedding cake recreated in intricate white porcelain. While the porcelain flowers on one cake are blooming, the flowers on the other are withering, representing different states of marriage. The designer hopes the cakes will remind people to slow down in this fast-paced world and examine their relationships before they wither away.

The works of Pierre Marie Lejeune, a self-defined sculptor-drafter from Paris, lie at the intersection of design and sculpture. His self-described poetic objects are created with steel, glass, light, water or other raw materials, and are often site-specific and found in public spaces. At Design Miami/Basel, Lejeune will exhibit sculptural lights, a steel and epoxy lacquer desk, and chairs. Although produced in Europe, Lejeune’s works embody the Chinese literati spirit of not discriminating between art and design.

Shanghai-based XYZ Design will present an assortment of tables, including a hexagonal coffee table and dining table, which feature unique forms. Paris-based Christian Ghion will exhibit his Rattan Sofa, which was first produced in China for an exhibition for the French Year in China in 2004. Ghion sees the work as an allegory of a Franco-Sino meeting with the sofa’s two ‘faces’ converging in the centre. He hopes the sofa brings a message of peace and love to unite two cultures.

Image: © Danful Yang
Courtesy of the artist and Pearl Lam Design

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