Some aspects of our new normal are rather convenient, for example the ‘A life less ordinary’ exhibition. The showcase launches at Mia Karlova Galerie and you can see it digitally as part of Collectible Salon, the Brussels Fair’s online platform, May 28-30, as well as in-person at the gallery’s new space in Amsterdam, May 28-July 23. Fittingly, the show examines the transformations our habits and surroundings have undergone this past year through the work of four international designers – Vadim Kibardin, Femke van Gemert, Olga Engel and Sho Ota – and a focus on “home”.
“During self-isolation some felt desolate due to being apart from loved ones while others, continually surrounded by people, were desperate for privacy. We stayed at home, stopped traveling, moved online and started observing things we hadn’t noticed before. This change of focus has altered our perception of ordinary life.” Karlova continued, “I wanted the pieces I selected for the show to tackle these life-changing transformations, and I hope ‘A life less ordinary’ will help develop a thought process around these issues by pushing the boundaries of art and design.”
If you found yourself placing more Amazon orders than usual over the past year, you’re not alone. For many, online shopping was their only means to receive material necessities. With his ‘Black Paper’ collection, Vadim Kibardin explores a conscious, responsible approach to consumption by using large quantities of discarded cardboard boxes. Through his sculptural, fully functional Black Mirror and Dolly chairs, Vadim offers up an idea for achieving a circular economy.
Another issue of our times – fast fashion. Looked down upon more and more often, it’s still a blight on the industry. Femke van Gemert, with a background in fashion design and trendsetting, has noticed the increase in consumption. Her observations led to exploring ways to turn unused textiles into art. van Gemert’s practice breathes new life into textile leftovers via her personal touch.
Olga Engel is known for her minimalistic forms and designs, and Lightbox #1L was designed for the present times. Where home has become the center of our lives. What at first glance looks like a familiar piece of furniture is changed when embedded with unexpected functions. Spaces for social interaction and privacy have been created, while aged glass adds atmosphere inside. A door opens for a sculpture or any object to be placed inside. A low table can be a place for books or coffee, while the lighting element unites all.
Home is also at the core of Sho Ota’s research that focuses on the forms and textures that surround us. His ‘Surfaced’ collection reveals the structures beneath industrial surfaces. For example, the collection’s coat rack shows the structure of wood to the viewers, while also turning a common piece of furniture into a functional sculpture. The final form appears throughout the making process, and also depends upon the wood as its appearance and texture can vary, making each piece unique. Sho’s Subterranean table conveys a similar presence while reflecting the light of its surroundings.
Mia Karlova Galerie
Amsterdam 1017 KH
Styling by Cleo Scheulderman.
Photography by Jeroen van der Spek.