This June, Japanese design studio Nendo is teaming up with New York–based gallery Friedman Benda to debut its latest collection "Watercolor" at Design Miami (June 12–17) in Basel, Switzerland. Inspired by the effect of watercolor on paper, this line comprises 18 pieces of abstract metal furniture, and marks Friedman Benda's fourth-ever single-artist exhibition at the show.
"To express the idea of paper, the objects are designed to look as though they were cut and folded by hand," Nendo said in a press release. "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." Using pulp paper, Nendo then hand-painted each piece by mixing two tones of water-based blue ink to create a watercolor-like effect. The pieces were then finished with a clear matte coat.
"Working on such a large scale allows [Nendo's founder] Oki Sato and his team to push the envelope and to envision a sum that is greater than its parts," says Marc Benda, founding partner of Friedman Benda. "Nendo’s work is best experienced when seen in a total, controlled environment of their own creation. Often these series go through different iterations. For example, "50 Manga Chairs" was first shown at a historical Romanesque basilica in Milan, then immersed in an audio-visual installation in our white box gallery in New York, and most recently as part of the Triennial at the National Gallery of Victoria in Australia. Each time the body of work lives and mutates with its surroundings. We expect the Watercolour Collection to travel after Basel to be seen again in a radically different context."
In some pieces, the elliptical planes are placed on slim legs, giving the impression that they are floating in the space. For others, the planes are folded, creating chair-like seating nooks. Overall, the series' lightness, both in shape and color, creates a delicate, transcendent effect.
The Watercolor collection will be on view June 12–17 at Design Miami in Switzerland.