Alexandre Chary: Organic and Dynamic
Designer Alexandre Chary is currently spending time between France and China, all the while exploring new approaches in his practice. He collaborates with various design groups, artists, and craftsmen from both sides of the world. TLmagazine caught up with him to talk about his work and presentation, which is also being featured at Spazio Nobile gallery.
TLmag: How would you describe your work? Do you see your study career evolving into your pieces?
Alexandre Chary (AC): As a designer, I see my work as a way to cast new light on techniques, materials, and craft while providing a sensory experience. I am also exploring the concept of locality in my practice. Being in China, it made sense for me to work with local crafts and base my creation on something that has a direct connection with the people I am working with. I see this as an opportunity to learn from a culture, and to not only see design through my own lens. There is a lot to learn from the experience of local craftsmen, the knowledge has passed on to them from past generations. But it is also very important to challenge them with new ideas, to sometime take them out of their comfort zone and push them to explore new views.
We are all the product of challenges, and we all come from a set of influences. I see life as a journey towards wisdom. You keep building yourself project after project, collaboration after collaboration, setback after setback. I believe my pieces are a certain reflection of what I am now: a work in progress.
I have had an unconventional professional path, coming from a background of business. I went from the developing business in Cuba in the late ’90s, to becoming a headhunter in London in the early 2000s, and then finally getting into the design industry when I took over the family business and transformed it into a custom lighting company. This gave me the opportunity to work on a very diverse range of projects for designers like Patrick Jouin, Sybille de Marjeurie, Christophe Pillet, Jacques Grange, Jacques Garcia. I soaked in these different influences throughout the years and combined them with my own vision. If you add the experience I acquired in China, I think my creations are a good illustration of my journey. I don’t know if you will find wisdom in them yet though.
TLmag: How would you describe your used aesthetic? What is the narrative you want to bring forward with the aesthetic?
Alexandre Chary (AC): I often describe my design as organic and dynamic. I am fascinated by the aesthetic Nature provides us with. Muscles, branches, parametric patterns found in basalt columns, or the structure of a firefly’s wing are my inspiration. I also like to express movement through my work, this combination brings both elegance and sensuality. I want people to have an intimate relationship with the furniture I design, it’s great if people are drawn towards touching, caressing the curves of my pieces. In these times of social distancing, these kinds of sensorial experiences are so important.
TLmag: Seen you’ve exhibited with Spazio Nobile, how do you see the relation between your work and Spazio Nobile? What are the divergences and similarities between the gallery and your work?
Alexandre Chary (AC): I met with Lise Coirier in November 2019 at the unique design exhibition at the Tank Museum in Shanghai. Lise had brought a very interesting selection of pieces that were expressing a complex array of emotions, most of them quite far from my universe, but all of them filled with elegance. This and the passion Lise had for these designers is what pulled me to Spazio Nobile. We are complex, conflicted beings and we need a diversity of emotions provided by the environment we create for ourselves. The way Spazio Nobile curates their collections reflects this in a very sensible way.