At Sight Unseen OFFSITE, now in its eighth year (if you include Noho Next from the beginning), we can't help but admire the wide range of international designers (from established talents to brand-new studios) and the variety of new forms and designs chosen by none other than the founders themselves - Monica Khemsurov and Jill Singer. All works are presented in the hub space at 201 Mulberry for easy access and also at a couple of partner venues around Manhattan.
Here are some designers that caught our eye:
Goblin Series by Hun Seung Lee (T), It Was No More Than a Feeling by Mingxuan Tan (B)
From School of the Art Institute of Chicago came a show about its Design Objects program, which focuses on the critical rethinking of objects and the changing relationship between things, ideas, people, and contexts. Led by Pete Oyler and Jonah Takagi, with support from teaching assistant Ben Harle, students in this intensive studio have created a collection of work that highlights both industrial and craft-based modes of production while providing a new formal perspective on age-old drinking vessel archetypes.
With the emphasising of the sentimental feeling of being held and the ideology of play, Mingxuan Tan's drinkware set It Was No More Than a Feeling explores the materiality of clay through the hand building forms. On the other hand, Hun Seung Lee's Goblin Series was inspired by the Japanese goblin. The goblin in Japanese and Asian mythology represents a supernatural being that embodies both human and animal forms while possessing a variety of supernatural powers.
Vinyl (T), Carpet Tile (L), Felt (R) baskets by Shigeki Fujishiro.
At Furnishing Utopia 3.0: Hands to Work - the third in a series of exhibitions exploring the historical legacy of the Shakers - a curation of objects designed by 26 international studios explored the contemporary attitude towards everyday chores. For some, chores are tedious, burdensome work to be avoided, but according to curators-in-chief Studio Gorm, these activities can also have an association with mindful rituals that have the potential for clearing one's mind, connecting with one's body, and confronting the indifference of the natural world.
But Shigeki Fujishiro's baskets collection - seen here used mostly as hampers - have certainly moved away from the usual humble materials used by the Shakers. The Japanese designer's three baskets offering are all named as the main material used: Vinyl (and paper), Carpet Tile (and stapler), Felt (and ribbon).
As he described, "In the interior, I think that the item called basket is free to include play. Depending on the person, how to use it is various, conscious only with the condition that you can put things inside, and we made several baskets by combining various materials. " First presented at PLACE by method gallery in Tokyo last November, Fujishiro's baskets collection has now created an interesting contrast to the existing and new 3.0 collection.
Nina Cho's glasswork collection ranges from accent table to tabletop object.
Currently based in Detroit, Nina Cho is an artist and designer born in the United States and raised in South Korea, where she received her BFA in woodworking and furniture design at Hong-Ik University in Seoul. She then earned an MFA in 3D Design from Cranbrook Academy of Art.
Her new collection of handmade glassworks in various scales - presented at the Layering Transparency show - was her attempt to channel the aesthetic of emptiness. "Just like in a painting, the unpainted portion of the surface is as important as the portion that was painted; it's about respecting the emptiness as much as the object," she explained.
The distinguishing feature of this collection is the recessed curve at the centre of each top plate's surface; the concave surface can be used as a vessel. Joining two complementary forms creates a stable structure. Each piece becomes a singular volume using one material: glass. The unique transparency of glass reveals overlapping parts, beautifully displaying its layering of two different tints of glass. Each work is one of a kind, created in partnership with the 2018 Guest Artist Pavillion Project at the Toledo Museum of Art.
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Any views or opinions in the post are solely those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the company or contributors.
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