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Cut & Paste by Kiki van Eijk

Kiki van Eijk's curious new collection celebrates the joys of designing by making, and explores the personality and emotion found within an object. 

By Jeanne Tan /asdf 01-03-2010

“An imaginary world in which everything is mixed, combined and questioned: Small & big scale…Farm and bourgeois…Simple & luxurious materials…Basic & complicated…Sketch & final result…Inspirations & processes…Different techniques & personal fascinations...Old & new projects...Reflections & impulses…Like an enormous patchwork of ideas, collection of thoughts & curiosities.” Kiki van Eijk.

For Rome-based gallery Secondome, Kiki van Eijk has designed new objects exploring the joys of designing by hand, celebrating the personality and emotion found within an object. The eclectic collection evolved from hundreds of sketches, eventually being narrowed down to seven curiosities. Each curiosity becomes much more than just an object; it creates its own imaginary, personal world. Each piece is an assembly of colours and forms and a juxtaposition of diverse materials such as wood, brass, copper, ceramics, textiles, rope, mirror and steel. It represents the joy and importance of making things by hand (without computers) and really 'designing by making.'

The objects contrast diverse influences ranging from the farm to furniture to industry to luxury. Furniture loses its original function while new hybrid objects suggest new uses and secret compartments reveal treasured hiding places. A 'Stack of furniture' is composed of objects supporting each other so that one can't exist without the other. Accessible from the back side of the Bordeaux-coloured textile (with chalk-drawn stripes) is a wooden niche with shelf and hidden mirror. The chair is placed with one leg on a marble block and with the other three legs on a mirror, which is integrated in a roughly welded steel box. Its legs are made of brass and 'soft' drawers of black ceramic. Van Eijk's trademark 'soft' objects are part of almost every item, from the gold light shade of 'Crate shade' at the top of a black ladder complete with gold-coloured textile electricity cable to the gold jug atop the 'Cabinet cart'. Finished with brass wheels, the cart can be opened to reveal a subtle light underneath a sandblasted glass plate which holds the first sketch of this piece. Time is a recurring theme from the 'soft' gold clock resting above the 'Totem' of cabinets, the brass wire frame 'Clock' or the mysterious time installation inside the glass case of the 'Vertical clock'. Finished with felt and gold rope, the 'Machine box' recalls the joys of working in a workshop environment.

The pieces show Van Eijk's love for materials, experimentation, tactility, research, sketches, context, settings, proportions, curiosities and everyday beauty, reflecting also her current thinking and future possibilities. "What inspired me the most was making things by hand without computer: low tech experiments, designing by trial and error and mixing forms and materials really starting from a blank piece of paper or cardboard," Van Eijk says.

The collection will debut in Rome at gallery Secondome on 4 March 2010, after which it will travel to Milan for the Furniture Fair in April.

Objects in order: Cabinet cart, Crate shade, Machine box, Clock, Stack of furniture, Totem, Vertical clock

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