For the fourth year running, Friedman Benda presents a single-artist exhibition at Design Miami/ Basel. In a setting created by nendo, the celebrated Japanese design firm will debut their Watercolour Collection, an eighteen-piece metal furniture series inspired by the effects of watercolour paint on a paper surface.
To express the idea of paper, the objects are designed to look as though they were cut and folded by hand. In order to create a foundation that resembles paper and to easily blur the ink paint on the objects, the metal frames and surfaces, which are the substrate materials, are repeatedly and thoroughly sanded, applied with primer and finished with matte white paint.
To create beautiful colour bleeds as if soaked in the furniture with perfect blurring expressions, all painting was done by hand, section by section, tapping the paint gently with soft pulp paper. This meticulous colouring process was created with a mix of two tones of aqueous inks.
Pursuing an interest in painterly effects, custom colouring expressions were designed specifically for each object according to its shape and elements. A trial and error method was used to perfectly place the colours and choose the right paint, tools and colouring techniques. This production process allowed nendo the opportunity to play with animated colour effects: colour blends where there are meeting points, and stains and colour run down in a waterfall effect on overlapping parts of multi-layered objects.
Each piece, conceived as an intersection of ellipses, hovers on slim legs. Lightness of touch and perfection of execution – characteristic of all nendo’s work – create an ethereal and transcendent effect. In some of the designs, chair forms nestle into tables; in others, elliptical planes fold into angles, articulating functional forms.
A major force in contemporary design, nendo (founded in 2002 by Oki Sato) has introduced an original language of radical simplicity anchored in deep metaphor. Works by nendo are included in the permanent collections of the 21_21 Design Sight, Tokyo, Japan; Art Institute of Chicago, IL; Centre Pompidou, Paris, France; Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, NY; Design Museum, Holon, Israel; High Museum of Art, Atlanta, GA; Indianapolis Museum of Arts, IN; Israel Museum, Jerusalem; Los Angeles County Museum of Art, CA; M+ Museum, Kowloon, Hong Kong, China; Museum of Art and Design, NY; Museum of Modern Art, NY; Museum of Fine Art, Houston, TX; Musée des Art Décoratifs, Paris, France; Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, Canada; Philadelphia Museum of Art, PA; Triennale Design Museum, Milan, Italy; and the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, UK, among others. Recently nendo was the subject of a solo exhibition at Grand Hornu, Belgium, and featured in the National Gallery of Victoria Triennial in Melbourne, Australia, with the epic project 50 Manga Chairs, acquired by the institution.