Stockholm 2019– As a Guest of Honour of Stockholm Furniture & Light Fair, Shanghai and London-based studio Neri & Hu designs THE UNFOLDING VILLAGE: a site-specific installation aiming to create awareness on an alarming trend that greatly impacts the traditional notion of community, family and cultural roots.
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“Furniture fairs are often only focused on displaying product designs. We wanted to link the objects and products on display to pressing social issues unique to China.” Explain Lyndon Neri and Rossanna Hu. “Many of our product designs are centered around and informed by notions of nostalgia, dwelling, home, family and the individual’s relationship within a collective. We wanted to create an exhibition that represents and captures the essence of the traditional Chinese village.”
Inspired by the alleyways and street life of clan-based villages, the pavilion invites visitors to explore and walk through a sinuous path that folds and unfolds to create lanes and layers of spaces slowly revealing themselves to visitors. The profile and form takes on the reading of an abstracted pitch roof which symbolizes the home, which when repeated in connected rows form a “village”.
Furniture, lighting and accessories designed by Neri&Hu are on display within the continuous alley made from local timber. On show the latest collections of Stellar Works, the leading Chinese brand art-directed by the studio, and furniture by Bolon, Artemide, Gan, Moooi, Nanimarquina, Poltrona Frau and more. Screens, built in millwork, windows and shutters create unexpected moments of encounter.
The Chinese notion of “fiction” actually derives from the term “small talk” originating from alleys and streets. The spatial device of the alley creates a quirky tableau for the objects while inviting the subversive behaviors of gossip, voyeurism and eavesdropping amongst fair visitors.
All photos by Mathias Nero – Courtesy of Stockholm Furniture and Lights Fair.
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