Slow → articles in Creative Culture


A new creation by Lars Beller Fjetland in collaboration with Theodor Olsen Sølvvareverksted

In his new project, one of our favorite designers working today; Lars Beller Fjetland merges traditional crafting techniques with the latest 3D-print technology, with which he has created yet another elegant work of minimal design. The starting point for this collaboration was a trip to the archives of Theodor Olsen Sølvvareverksted, the oldest silverware producer in Norway, in the city of Bergen. There Fjetland uncovered sketches of an asymmetric serving cutlery from the late fifties that never made it into production. He was commissioned by Theodor Olsen to rework the idea, bringing it into the 20th century. Key was finding a more cost efficient way of developing and manufacturing small scale series of cold forged cutlery, which was achieved by utilizing 3D-print technology to develop specialized tools for tool making. Based and named after the plant, Fjetland created 'Monstera', a set of cutlery with asymmetric leaf shaped spoon blades, which are mirrored copies of each other, only distinguished by the lobes featured on the fork. The idea behind this reflects the plants ability to grow two types of leafs, while also adding a functional aspect to the end product. The stem-like handles were given an asymmetric ending to really celebrate the beauty of nature. Another beautiful addition to Fjetland's incredible catalogue. [ Continue reading ]

The Tadafusa shop

Designed by the great Yusuke Seki

From the moment we discovered the incredible kimono store Otsuka-Dofukuten in 2013, we became a fan of the creative visionary behind it: the incredible Tokyo-based designer Yusuke Seki. Since that moment we have been following his every move and amongst other things have asked him about what inspires him in life last year. This week Seki has released his latest project, which forms another incredible addition to his already impressive catalogue. Located in Tsubame-Sanjo, a blacksmithing town with over 300 years of history, Seki created the new shop for Tadafusa - an esteemed manufacturer of hand-forged knives - in which the notion of a cutting board shop is a thread woven deeply into the space's concept. Blending the existing building's exterior and an interior wall with his own design interventions, Seki re-envisioned the standard knife display case having created an extraordinary customer-knife interface out of crossed spruce lines. Commonly seen as a locked case of shallow depth with a large number of implements displayed vertically within has been given a more human scale, the sliding glass doors remain, but the 'case' itself is meant to be entered, not merely opened. The result is both highly aesthetically yet also promises a unique store experience due to the remarkable concept  which inspired the specific form. Without a doubt Yusuke Seki remains an everlasting source of inspiration. [ Continue reading ]

Sometimes I forget myself

Ashkan Honarvar at CES Gallery Los Angeles

We are big fans of the work of artist Ashkan Honarvar, being among the most thought-provoking collage artist working today. At the end of February the Iranian-born, Utrecht-schooled artist celebrated another milestone in his career with the opening of his very first solo exhibition at CES Gallery in Los Angeles named 'Sometimes I forget myself'. The exhibition features new works on paper from two recent bodies of work. The first series titled 'Denial of Death' is inspired by the writings of cultural anthropologist Ernest Becker, in particular his Pulitzer Prize-winning book of the same name. The second series titled 'King of Worms', which we premiered online, references radical feminist filmmaker Jane Arden’s 'The Other Side of the Underneath' and its exploration of corruption, abuse of power, and gender inequality. Working exclusively in hand-cut collage Honarvar presents a mythic and visceral vision of humanity and its qualitative constructs.  [ Continue reading ]


Last month, a new outdoor light festival named Lumiere London debuted in England's capital. For us the undisputed highlight of the 4 day event was the impressive 'Spectra-3' installation created by London-based creative studio FIELD: a 3 meter tall sculpture surrounded by animated lights and spatialized sound. Based around a mirror disc moving on two axes, the 'Spectra-3' created a choreography of movement, light and sound, and illuminates its surroundings with dancing reflections. In the words of FIELD: the project celebrates humanity’s inexhaustible optimism to advance technology, all with the aim of understanding our place in the universe. Although, regularly criticized for its reliance on style over substance, there's an undeniable intrinsic quality in the practice of creating technology based aesthetic projects which we really appreciate. Obviously, even the greatest cynic can't deny the inherently (positive) constructive quality of the field, having strong roots in the modern times we live in. Being one of the most elegant creations in its genre 'Spectra-3' is in our eyes not just a highly eye pleasing piece, but also a relevant frame to contemplate todays ever-growing reliance on technology and its quality to stimulate self-reflection. [ Continue reading ]

Donogoo Tonka

After the impressive Cleon Peterson exhibition closed in Antwerp last Saturday and the Panos Tsagaris' 'apocatastasis' closing in Brussels this coming Saturday, the next reason to visit the country already arises on Friday the 4th of March, when another thrilling exhibition will open its doors, this time at the Stedelijk Museum voor Actuele Kunst in Ghent. The Antwerp-based 'Crown prince' (after heavyweights Tuymans, Dillemans and Borremans) of Belgian contemporary painting (and Paul Smith's favorite); Rinus Van de Velde created a new extraordinary series named ‘Donogoo Tonka’ in which he draws himself as the leading player in the biography of an imaginary artist for the museum. Inspired by an existing French novel, Van de Velde presents nine new life-size drawings in S.M.A.K. The works in his signature charcoal looks are as virtuosic and light as ever, demanding total engagement of its spectator to find the layers beyond just the highly impressive aesthetic side, showing great visual intelligence, cutting irony, a free imagination and great sensitivity. Without a doubt Van de Velde, who's work reminds us strongly of another favorite of ours; Marcel van Eeden, is the next Belgian painter in the Hors catégorie.   [ Continue reading ]


In the Summer of 2014 we discovered the inspirational work of Japanese designer Kouichi Okamoto and his Kyouei Design when he released his elegant 'Square Wind Bell'. This year Okamoto has returned with another remarkable project named 'Re-rain', which was presented to the world at the Shizuoka Prefectural Museum of Art. In his inspirational project the designer created a sound installation through which he aims to express non-visible elements such as gravity, magnetic force, and sound as physical elements. Created with the sound of rain recorded in Japan during the early days of 2016 as its soundtrack, 'Re-rain' is constructed out of a set of umbrellas placed on top of speakers. The vibrations of the sounds out of the speakers are transmitted through the umbrella to make a sound, but an umbrella cannot vibrate if the magnetic force of the speaker is too small or if the rain hitting the umbrella is either too high or too low in pitch. For this reason a device picking out a state in which the magnetic force of the speaker, weight of the umbrella, and pitch extent of sound are all in a perfectly balanced state forming this beautiful installation. [ Continue reading ]

Euphrosyne Andrews

We recently discovered the beautiful work of Glasgow School of Art graduate Euphrosyne Andrews, who's not just blessed with a first name reminding of an ancient Greek goddes, but also with a remarkable talent in creating incredible motifs which she applies in multiple numbers on different materials. Motivated by the modern conflict between the ornamental motif and the multiple, Andrews plays with typical procedures applied in traditional print methods; always aiming to change the traditional process by incorporating techniques inspired by modern printmaking, searching for a unique contemporary hybrid between decorative and fine arts. Subsequently, in the exhibition of her work, she underlines her vision by presenting her processes on various materials, ranging from textile to paper, creating the best possible framework on the intersection between the applied and fine arts, where her work can be fully appreciated. [ Continue reading ]

Ryo Okamoto

During the weekend of the 5th of February, Amsterdam will welcome a new initiative by the name of MONO JAPAN. The debuting event organized by the Japan Cultural Exchange offers a stage to acclaimed Japanese masters of traditional practices next to the new generation of ambitious and enthusiastic creators from the country famous for its craftsmanship and design vision. The inspirational new platform has curated a diverse selection of exhibitors, presenting their products which range from pottery, washi (paper), textile, clothing and furniture to teas, sakes and art in the iconic rooms of the Lloyd Hotel & Cultural Embassy. Out of this beautiful lot of ambassadors of the Land of the Rising Sun we particularly love the work of multidisciplinary artist Ryo Okamoto, who is present with fellow artist Daimon Kanno, to introduce his totally unique, yet very Japanese vision on contemporary art. [ Continue reading ]

The Rain Room at LACMA

Although the project was first presented (to great critical acclaim and public amazement) in 2012 at The Barbican in London, last November's (second) reprise of the extraordinary 'Rain Room' by Random International at LACMA in Los Angeles continues to be one of our clear favorites in sensory design, being some of the most gracious construction we've encountered in the last few years. The London-based innovative studio brought its installation to LA via Shanghai, where it was also shown - partly simultaneously with its presence in the USA - during the last months of 2015, proving interest in the work to be worldwide. The highly elegant 'Rain Room' is an immersive environment of perpetually falling water that pauses wherever a human body is detected. It offers visitors an opportunity to experience what is seemingly impossible: the ability to control rain. The creation presents a respite from everyday life and an opportunity for sensory reflection within a responsive relationship. [ Continue reading ]

Yo + Yo by Yomar Augusto

Last month we discovered the extraordinary 'Yo + Yo' project by New York-based Brazilian typographic artist and graphic designer Yomar Augusto. The start of the new project leads all the way back to a period between 1960 and 1962, during which Augusto's father was deployed to the Gaza Strip as part of the United Nations emergency force where he combined his work as a soldier with photography. The insightful images he shot there show the daily life inside the military compound, the region and numerous charismatic self portraits of the young lieutenant. As fans of vintage photographs with a beautiful weathered look these images really appeal to us to begin with, but Yomar's vision to hybridize his personal talents with their shared passion for photography makes 'Yo + Yo' a next level project of a son who's father died when he was 5 years old. Having printed the photographs on 1 meter wide paper, Yomar adds a distinct layer of both typography and graphics, giving the images a strong new meaning, both on the mentioned deep personal level, but even more as remarkable imagery with an extraordinary raw aesthetic. [ Continue reading ]

Kes Richardson

On this wonderful day right at the beginning of the new year - but more importantly at the start of the life of a beloved newborn (!) - we will begin our writings in 2016 with a great find of some months ago. With a newfound introspective focus on what really inspires us, rather then just sharing those projects which are universally considered to be relevant or influential, we turn to the art of painting once more. British artist Kes Richardson started figurative, but for some years now has moved all the way beyond most familiar shapes into the geometric abstract, through which he really caught our attention when we discovered his incredible 'Garden Paintings' series, which was presented to the public by London-based Fold Gallery in 2013. [ Continue reading ]

Jurre Blom

We discovered the talented Dutch painter Jurre Blom when his work was exhibited in last Summer's graduation show of the HKU University of the Arts Utrecht. Clearly standing out in the multi-story building filled with fine art graduate work, the captivating realistic paintings of Jurre even proved to be amongst our favorites from all Dutch academies, if not the favorite. The artist, being a child of the digital era, creates work directly representing remarkable scenes he finds on the internet. With an endless stream of photographs being unleashed every day, this field of inspiration proves to serve him endlessly. Rather unusual frames portraying familiar situations, often-times evoking a sense of awkwardness or discomfort, but always succeeding to intrigue - the photographs Blom selects are personal insights found through numerous chains of visually similar image searches through Google images, starting from his personal database of photographs of 'in between' moments. Keep an eye on this highly promising name! [ Continue reading ]

klein home collection 01

At the end of last month, Antwerp-based design studio klein launched an impressive new project. Named the klein home collection 01, the studio embarked on an exploration of precision through the process of laser cutting plate steel, combined with the imperfections of natural materials wood and leather. Captured between two industrially tooled plates of steel, natural materials are elevated and expressed for their beauty and warmth of touch. Elegant and robust in its profile, the collection utilizes a single material dimension for its solid parts, allowing the oak wood to seamlessly fit in line with the geometry of the laser cut plate steel. Imbued with both a technical precision achieved through translating a digital 3D model into a computer driven laser and the handworked simplicity in its wood and leather manipulation, the impressive collection positions itself delicately between a high tech and handworked aesthetic. [ Continue reading ]

As He Bowed His Head To Drink

On the 17th of November, London-based The Redfern Gallery opened the third solo exhibition by one of our favorite contemporary British painters, Danny Fox. The new work of the self-taught St. Ives-born and London-based artist has moved on to become less calligraphic, more solid, but maintaining his signature fluidity. The inspiration for Danny's paintings continues to have strong roots in the heritage of the European Masters, where the subject matter still is the artist's unique non-sentimental vision of cowboys, indians, strippers, cavalryman and those (like himself) who like to drink more than they should. The color palette is as punchy as before, applied more solid compared to his older eclectic works, still grabbing one's gaze by the horns and sucking it into the little narratives they portray. With Danny's star rising in the art world, part of the new works were created through new friends like painter Patrick Heron, who invited him to stay in his old St. Ives studio and a period in Los Angeles, in which he always maintained his fast paced production of some of the most exciting work being created today. [ Continue reading ]

Atmosphere II by Macarena Ruiz-Tagle

We are very inspired by the incredible 'Atmosphere' series of Chili-born, Berlin-based Macarena Ruiz-Tagle. The images of the artist are immaculately painted on paper, resembling color field paintings to perfection. Each of the works show a different mix of pigments that plays with the viewers’ perception and mood, being the result of an extensive physical movement training process of meticulously hand made accumulation of gradual degrees of saturation. When observed from close, there is a detailed pigmentation of the paper, and from a distance, the color vibration appears to the eye in an effort to focus the wandering mesmerizing tinted-air surface with blurry edges, forming a perfect vision of what the incredibly talented artist sees as atmospheres. [ Continue reading ]


In these troubled times with some people from different ends strongly engaged in polarizing the world, the inspirational work of Moroccan-born Najia Mehadji, who spent most of her childhood and teenage years in Paris, should be seen as the perfect union between the cultures of the East and the West. Since we encountered the extraordinary paintings of the Paris- and Lamssasa-based artist we've been very inspired by her intellectual approach, fine technique and remarkable focus on and play with form. Her most recent series named 'Enroulement' inhabits everything -the familiar living and generative network of volumes floating on the canvas- which makes Najia Mehadji an undisputed favorite of ours in contemporary painting and living proof of the intrinsic value of cultural exchange rather than aggressive isolation. If only more people would see this... [ Continue reading ]

Ceasefire by Pryce Lee

At the end of this Summer, British artist Pryce Lee’s first solo show in Amsterdam opened at The Garage. The new and highly anticipated body of work named 'Ceasefire' sees the artist explore the meaning of ceasefire, the culturally charged term after which the show is named. Both in its appeal by politicians and in its definition, ceasefire has become an ambiguous and often murky term. With this new installation Lee thrusts the question of its meaning centre stage by invoking icons of peace and war to explore the intent and meaning of a word that has become increasingly part of political parlance while its outcomes have become less clear. When in Amsterdam make sure to see this extraordinary show! [ Continue reading ]

Stoned by Fredrik Paulsen

We are very impressed by recent discovery; Copenhagen-based gallery Etage Projects, where since October a new selection of specifically created works by Swedish designer Fredrik Paulsen are on display. Named 'Stoned' the creations' departure point is the famous Swedish stone quarry 'i Öland'. Paulsen has been exploring and examining the unique qualities of the rose colored stone from the quarry and used it as the main material and inspiration for his exhibition. With his series, Fredrik Paulsen is taking a much more experimental approach towards this new body of work – allowing the material to dictate its form and function. The title reflects not only the stone as the main material in the work but the sensory and open-minded artistic process that Paulsen took in the creation of the work. [ Continue reading ]

Landscape by Danzo Design

We recently became familiar with Danzo Studio, being a new addition to the collection of Tico Oudhuis' KOHEZI platform. The company was founded in 2013 in Taipei, Taiwan by designers Wei-Lun Tseng, who graduated from the Design Academy Eindhoven and I-Han Chen who finished her education in Sweden at HDK in Gothenburg. Starting up as an entrepreneurial design brand, the duo aspires to present superior design products to the world and with their five Landscape collection of aluminium alloy organizers they have created a set of designs marrying rugged beauty and pragmatism. The collection consists of diversified habitats specified for all tabletop gadgets and/or accessories. In the different designs function always follows form, with each box lid being outfitted with a particular terrain scene. The series contains five choices of terrains; each provides unique functions for various uses. [ Continue reading ]

Destroying The Weak

We are big fans of Ghent, Belgium-based CASE STUDYO, which since its foundation has been producing numerous limited edition products/pieces of art with some of the most exciting creatives minds from all over the globe. We discovered the platform some years ago through Andy Rementer's People Blocks, after which the project really took off with everything they have been putting out flying of the shelves in no time. Two days ago CASE STUDYO presented its first collaboration with Los Angeles-based artist Cleon Peterson. The unique graphic aesthetic of the artist always roots in a 2D world of chaos, violence, sex and drugs, which the artist perfectly translated into a sculpture of 23 centimeter made out of white porcelain. Named 'Destroying the Weak' two violent characters symbolize the essence of Peterson's work: the struggle of power.  [ Continue reading ]

Simon Callery

Two weeks ago, the London-based FOLD Gallery opened a new show by the extraordinary English artist Simon Callery named 'Flat Paintings'. With the new series the artist is suggesting that one of the defining characteristics of painting is now one of many characteristics in contemporary painting. Callery's works combined in the exhibition bear all the markings of their creation. Reevaluating the conventions of painting, the British artist who originally trained as a sculptor has recently worked alongside the University of Oxford's archaeological excavations in Moel y Gaer, Bodfari, North Wales where the landscape informed the surface areas of the large-scale works on show here. Canvases have been saturated in intense pigments, which have then been crafted, torn and stitched onto stretchers. Our favorite work is the large-scale work called 'Flat Painting Bodfari 14/15 Cadmium Red Deep': a mysterious patchwork in a tremendous shade of red, inevitably sucking in any gaze that is placed upon it. [ Continue reading ]

Edén Barrena

We just became familiar with the extraordinary work of the recent Royal College of Art London graduate Eden Barrena. With her work, the Spanish-born artist explores the relationship between the self and the other, and in the estrangement and conflicts that this encounter generates. Using print, drawing and bookmaking in order to collect these confrontations and transmit the amazement to the viewer. Sometimes, these are small stories very well localized in a determined context, but in other occasions her work remits to phenomena that expand through history: migration, cultural identity, racism, colonialism and the discovery of the alien. We love the raw and dynamic aesthetic in her images, mostly consisting of minimal depiction on blank backdrops achieving maximum effect. Keep an eye on this incredible talent! [ Continue reading ]

Papaver Rhoeas by Paddy Hartley

Last week we became familiar with a soon to be released art project which continues to haunt us ever since - and very likely will continue to do so - because of its seldom seem hybrid of sheer beauty and mind-boggling concept. In this collection of sculptures named 'Papaver Rhoeas', the British artist Paddy Hartley has created a series of highly emotive and thought provoking handmade poppy sculptures using pathologically preserved lamb’s heart tissue (!). Drawing on the poppy’s synonymity with the commemoration of World War One, 'Papaver Rhoeas' consists of finely crafted artworks produced by a unique team of art and science practitioners that address contemporary notions of remembrance and the cultural phenomena of memorialisation. Every poppy varies in colour and composition, and each will be installed in a thematically diverse range of institutions covering topics such as the military, science, social history, theology and contemporary art. What a truly remarkable project! [ Continue reading ]

Jarmila Mitríková & Dávid Demjanovič

Artists Jarmila Mitríková and Dávid Demjanovič, now based in Prague and Košice, had their breakthrough in the Slovakian art scene after they graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Bratislava in 2011 with their paintings created through pyrography. A traditional technique in which one burns motives into plywood and colors it with wood stains. Their use of pyrography forms a direct reference to a folk amateur art, being the most popular technique during socialism in the former Czechoslovakia. In their case it is not only the reinvented visual attraction they are working with, but mostly a medium through which they are joining a critical discours with different cultural contexts. Mitríková and Demjanovič's art inhabits elements of folklore, through religion and mysticism typical for geopolitic region of Central Europe, to national history and identity all translated into a dark aesthetic. We are particularly drawn to their most recent works in which the duo has created extraordinary ceramics with a haunting political, mystical and ritualistic mood. [ Continue reading ]