Designer Nicolas Cheng has created a stunning set of vessels that can be seen in person at the Asia Society Hong Kong, from 30.1.2013 to 31.03.2013 and Galerie Caroline Van Hoek, Brussels, from 14.02.2013 to 06.04.2013.
from the designer
Chinoiseries comprises a set of vessels with a cloisonné inner, detachable part and a darkened stainless steel outer shell.
Each item's darkened stainless steel housing has a heavily industrial appearance that seems to "swallow" the finely decorated cloisonné centrepiece. The work is a game of references between the world of the industrially and the mass-produced and that intense labour that craft stands for. Furthermore, between the artificial and the natural.
Copper joints used for plumbing, have been finely enameled using the cloisonné technique, one of the finest, most complex and time consuming among the metal crafts.
The extremely demanding craftsmanship, in its surreal decorative exuberance, is finally outbalanced by the darkness and coldness of the industrial steel.
The work addresses and confronts the contradictions in a country whose cultural impact will soon match its status as an economic superpower. China the fast-paced, the alienated, the progressive! In what way, if any, does the rhythm of craft merge with contemporary China's fast beating heart? For me, China is a society that has historically represented a magmatic reservoir of the finest expressions in both art and craftsmanship. But are these forms of cultural expression likely to soon dissolve in the name of technology, economic power and progress?