Clockwork Snow by Tjep.
Department store La Rinascente in Milan is showing work by eight contemporary designers and artists. But how do you evoke the sense of Christmas without being cliché?
This dilemma was one of Tjep.'s biggest challenges regarding the window display for this iconic Italian department store. The installation features a mechanical heart composed of cogs and wheels, and a pair of skeletal angel wings. "It feels Christmassy without falling into the clichés," says Frank Tjepkema of Tjep. "The window should inspire hope and happiness in passers-by."
The piece shows mechanical gears seemingly falling from heaven like icy snowflakes, then crystallizing into a heart-shaped machine as if frozen in time. "The gears represent our rational world, but they transcend the utilitarian world to become a romantic, haunting dream." The whole piece – fashioned from water-cut aluminium and brass tubes - was made in Italy with instructions from Tjep. who corresponded with the fabricators via regular email: "The first time I saw the actual scale and proportions was on a photograph, but everything fit into place perfectly."
Tjep. was amongst seven other international designers who were commissioned to create a Christmas window at the department store. The other designers were: LAVA, Kirsten Hassenfeld, Gyngy Laky, Andrea Mastrovito, Satsuki Oishi, Richard Sweeney and Margherita Marchioni.
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