A Forest of Collision and Raku
“A Forest of Collision and Raku”, an installation curated by Spazio Nobile of new ceramics, functional sculpture and tapestries by Kiki van Eijk & Joost van Bleiswijk, will be presented at the 7th edition of Masterly during Milan Design Week, April 18-23, 2023.
“A Forest of Collision and Raku”, an installation curated by Spazio Nobile of new raku ceramics, functional sculpture and tapestries by Kiki van Eijk and Joost van Bleiswijk, will be presented at the 7th edition of Masterly during Milan Design Week.
“A Forest of Collision and Raku” celebrates the handmade and the beauty found in the process of making and in the imperfections. But it also reflects a current mood of chaos and uncertainty that feels prevalent around the world these days; war, bank failures, political animosity, climate disasters are only a few of the realities that are a part of the everyday. Kiki and Joost find hope and inspiration through the process of making, of trial and error and experimentation. “We want to show how to deal with today’s chaos and transform that into something positive. Taking something that makes you feel uncomfortable and looking at things from a different perspective as a way to find hope. [This is something that] we often look at this as designers,” they explain.
For Kiki, this process can often be quite time consuming and meditative, as well as unpredictable. Over the couple of years, she has been making hand-built, raku fired vessels. Colours such as yellow, celadon green, cream, blue and black reflect the crackling surfaces that emerge from the high-heat process. “There is something very alive about raku because the results can be different each time, depending on the season, the time of day the weather, [and] there is a kind of sensitivity with these pieces; it’s about embracing imperfections…that makes it even more beautiful that there is never something the same,” states Kiki. In addition to the raku vases, Kiki will present one of her “Raku Knits,” a wall tapestry produced by BYBORRE, as well as a new tapestry developed with the lab at the Textile Museum in Tilburg titled, “Structuring Chaos”, which is made through the repetitive and intricate braiding of ropes known as passementerie.
For Masterly, Joost will present a new series of work titled ‘Collision’, which plays on the ideas of chaos and unpredictability but in a very physical way. The rather animated free-standing sculptures, which are in fact functional thanks to well-placed hooks that transform them into clothing, hat or key racks, are made of different colours and types of metal. He used a fork-lift to crunch and shape one of the main elements, a crinkled-looking metal that resembles a bushy tree or cloud. Using pigment to colour the metal gives the work more depth layers. ‘Collision’ was about pure expression for Joost, and about playing with pigments, chance, and shape in a very active way.
While storytelling is important for both designers, the physical act of making very much informs their work. “As a designer you don’t have to question everything but to answer things. You have to physically be able to show what you mean not just talk about it,” states Joost. “We find it important to express the joy of making things in the atelier, with a team…that serendipity that happens [and] embrace the gifts from the process. We want to show that in Milan and we want visitors to feel this dynamic,” say the designers.
The sculptures, vases and tapestries that form “A Forest of Collision and Raku,” will be placed on and around a 5-metre-long, low platform that will be covered in Murano yellow. It is meant to look modern and outside of the classical architecture of the space. People can move around the stage and engage with the work more intimately, as if walking around this ‘forest’ of objects.
Masterly is a yearly event that aims to celebrate Dutch Design during Milan Design Week. It is curated by Nicole Uniquole and will be held at the Palazzo Giureconsulti, an historic building near the Duomo. The exhibition will be on view from April 18-23, 2023.