Featuring works by Maartan Baas, Studio Makkink and Bey, XYZ Design featuring Danful Yang, Philip Michael Wolfson, André Dubreuil, Mattia Bonetti
Hall 5, Messe Basel, Messeplatz
4005 Basel, Switzerland
Press preview: 14th June, 12.30-3pm
Collectors preview: 14 June, 3-6pm
Vernissage: 14 June, 6-10pm
Nocturne: 17 June, 7-9pm
General Hours: 15-19 June, 11am-7pm
Shanghai-based Contrasts Gallery returns to Design Miami/ Basel this June presenting a diverse mix of limited edition design by six international artists. Design Miami/ Basel takes place from June 15-19 in Basel, Switzerland, Hall 5, Messe Basel, Messeplatz.
Contrasts Gallery has commissioned international and Chinese multi-disciplinary artists and designers to use “traditions” to create handmade artworks that speak of contemporary Chinese culture and its reaction to 5,000 years of Chinese traditions and social issues. Contrasts Gallery is showing a varied range of designers who work with artisans specialized in Chinese art and crafts.
Contrasts Gallery will present Nike Porcelain Shoes and Housewife Loves It (plastic basin in porcelain), new work by Andre Dubreuil. Also on view will be his Chinoiserie and B&W vases. With this new work, Dubreuil aims to illustrate that the Chinese can make beautifully crafted objects; a misconception by many Europeans is that China is a country where everything is made cheaply. Known for his handcraftsmanship, Dubreuil’s “decorative artwork” has found appreciation all over the world, and can be found in the permanent collections of some of the most important museums in the world. His “Spine” chair for Vitra received critical acclaim in 1986.
New work by London-based architect Philip Michael Wolfson entitled Painting on The Wall and Painting on The Floor will be shown for the first time in Basel. The work, under the heading 4 Arts of the Scholar - Paintings, a contemporary Western interpretation, have been inspired by a reverence for the training that required the scholar to achieve mastery of QIN, QI, SHU, and HUA – translated as Music, Board Game, Calligraphy, Painting – requiring years of study of the ancient classics and philosophical treatises, as well as self-analysis of the moral principles and influences of Confucianism, Feng Shui, Taoism and Buddhism.
Also on view will be Wolfson's Longevity Table. The study for Longevity Table began as an interpretation of the dynamics for the Chinese character ‘Shou’ or Longevity. The extrusion of the radical element, distortion and elimination of the phonetic, and the interpretation involved in generating a 3-dimensional element leads to an abstraction and debate about the understanding, interpretation, and actual decipherability of the character itself. As a historical reference, 100 variations of Shou represent blessings and longevity. These abstractions ‘Longevity Desk – Shou I’ lead to the possible and eventual creation of 100 variations of the character, spread over time, as well as function.
XYZ Design featuring Danful Yang will show new additions to their Fake series - two new chairs and one new stool and table will be introduced. Materials from fake luxury brand handbags are juxtaposed and used to upholster a chair that is a hybrid of traditional Chinese and western Rococo styles. The result is a bombardment of visual stimuli, which reflects the rapid changes in China and the onslaught of consumer culture. By turning imitation into originality, Fake paves the way for twenty-first century creativity.
Contrast Gallery will also present a new version of Press Couch by Mattia Bonetti. This series was first commissioned for the exhibition Awakening: La France Mandarine - The French Influence on Chinese Art that opened in Shanghai and Beijing as part of the French Year in China. The cushions are all hand-embroidered based on a model by the designer consisting of graphics from French and Chinese newspapers, magazines, and personalized drawings. The work shares both French and Chinese art and design sensibilities. Also on view will be Bonetti’s Stone Stacking, a hand-polished and welded sculptural yet functional side table/stool that plays with organic forms. The piece reflects Bonetti’s surreal artistry, which can be seen in his works since the 1980s. Bonetti has exhibited at the Victoria & Albert Museum, the Guggenheim in New York City, and the Georges Pompidou Center, among other distinguished institutions and galleries of art and design.
Studio Makkink & Bey (Jurgen Bey and Rianne Makkink) will introduce their new Curiosity Cabinet along with Cleaning-Beauty-Dining-Table (stainless steel), the latest addition to the studio’s Cleanliness is next to Godliness series, which re-imagines propaganda for the overlooked world of cleaning by using luxurious materials. The table consists of a glossy-finish tabletop and matte drawers that open on either side, along with six accompanying stools. It is based on the original Cleaning-Beauty-Dining-Table made of traditional Chinese boxes and wood. The sleek and modern feel of the stainless steel edition is representative of the contrasts in China, where traditions and modernity as well as low-tech and high-tech co-exist.
Contrasts gallery continues to collaborate with the internationally renowned designer Maarten Baas whose fascination with traditional Chinese woodcarving pushes the boundaries of this time-honored craft while revealing the playfulness of his imagination. Chinese Objects Object, based on the “Hey, chair…” series will be on view. Baas made an assemblage of different kinds of wooden Chinese objects, which was then carved out of solid wood by local Chinese craftsmen.
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About Contrasts Gallery
Contrasts Gallery is dedicated to presenting creative excellence in art and design from East and West to the international art community. Founded by Pearl Lam in 1992 in Hong Kong, the Gallery nurtures and promotes creative talents where art, architecture, and design intersect. Now based in Shanghai, Contrasts Gallery has evolved from a philosophy rooted in Chinese “Literati” art, which promotes art for the sake of self-cultivation and embraces creativity without hierarchies. The gallery’s exhibition program is designed to create new cultural exchanges by representing artists from all parts of the world working in divergent traditions and across disciplines. The gallery’s 2010 schedule includes exhibitions by many leading Chinese contemporary figures: Zhang Hao, Yi Zhou, Wei Ligang, Lan Zhenghui, Li Tianbing, Shao Fan and Hans Hartung.
The gallery is committed to cross-cultural exchange and hosts a residency program, under the auspices of which international artists and designers are invited to China to investigate traditional Chinese craftsmanship, materials, or imagery. By combining these time-honored methods with contemporary ideas and forms, these artists and designers can create new works that reflect contemporary China.