Thu, Jan 26, 2006 - Page 15 News List

Back to an arts and crafts movement

Fine aesthetic objects are introduced into every day life with a new Dunnan Eslite Bookstore exhibition

By Susan Kendzulak  /  CONTRIBUTING REPORTER

Lights from Wu You-wen.

PHOTO: SUSAN KENDZULAK, TAIPEI TIMES

In the spirit of the Lunar New Year and the upcoming Lantern Festival, a recently opened exhibition of lights and home furnishings designed by local artists and designers is on view at the Dunnan Eslite Bookstore exhibition space until Feb. 5. Increasing numbers of contemporary artists, architects and designers take work outside of their fields and try their hand at different mediums, such as designing furniture and innovative goods for the home. This exhibition is a good chance to see some fun types of lighting design made in a wide range of materials including wood, plastic, bronze, glass and marble. The works were commissioned by the company L'orangerie International Creation Work and the objects are affordably priced, as the aim of the organizers is to bring fine aesthetic objects into every day life.

The exhibition is laid out partly like an art gallery installation and a high end store display. Lin Chien-rong's (林建榮) sculpture has a blue glowing orb placed on top of a dog's body. This light is the first piece greeting visitors to the exhibition.

Wu You-wen's (吳尤文) beautiful table-top sculpture looks like a peach tree overflowing with ripe fruit. Consisting of a copper armature, the lights are encased in bulbous pink sanded glass, with its delicate branches resembling a scene from a Chinese ink painting.

Controversial woodcut artist Hou Chun-ming (侯俊明) provides a playful multi-colored array of anatomically-correct wall clocks. Other well-known artists include Tsong Pu (莊普), who designed a working table and Chang Nai-wen (張乃文), who designed a toy-like desk lamp.

Jewelry designer Liu Guan-ling(劉冠伶) created several over-sized wedding-type rings that function as lights. They are quite campy in their gaudiness, as one ring has a mega-sized pink glowing diamond-shaped light.

Former pilot, now artist You Wen-fu (游文富) still dreams of the skies and works entirely with feathers. Several of the chandeliers he has made are light and airy and are made of feathers attached to thin metal wires.

Fan Jio-lian (樊炯烈) carves marble in sensuous shapes where an inner light glows creating an unearthly aura. Tainan sculptor Lin Hong-wen (林鴻文) is well represented by several floor lamps made in bronze, or covered in bamboo, in his signature style and shows that his sculpture lends itself to interesting, yet comfor-table furniture designs.

Painter George Ho (侯玉書) provides two unique lights that are more like sculptures. In one, a floor-to-ceiling hanging looks like a fluttering willow tree; in another a small light box can be switched on by the Venetian blind cord.

Artists have used materials in innovative ways. Jian Ying-ru's (簡吟如) teabag lampshades slowly warm up in the light releasing slight aromas. Lin Ming-yi's (林敏毅) porcelain light-encased sculpture seems so airy that it does not seem to be made of clay.

The company L'orangerie International Art Consultant Co. Ltd focuses on the creative industries and had been running Huashan Culture Park in addition to organizing public art projects. Its recent foray into marketable design is signaled by its new branch called L'orangerie International Creation Work. This new branch has 3 brands: T'envie (I need), D'ore (gold) and C'est Bon. T'envie will commission light and furniture design from artists and designers. D'ore will be launched in a few months and will feature beautiful handcrafted jewelry with an Asian- inspired theme to its designs. C'est Bon is geared for the young generation and will design quirky stationery, cups, bags, clocks and small knick-knacks. Eventually a flagship store will open in the spring providing artistic design subversively wrapped up as consumer goods.

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