Danish-Vietnamese artist Dahn Vo presented his new collection of Kvadrat curtains through a mesmerising installation at his Berlin apartment. Dubbed 'Trapped in Heaven', the collaboration resulted in a sculptural, calligraphic curtain made of partly recycled polyester and available in a white tone with three limited-edition pastel hues.
'Trapped in Heaven': Kvadrat curtains by Dahn Vo
'Trapped in Heaven' is the latest offering from Kvadrat's curtains division, a luminous, multifunctional partition that combines light, words and textile. Infused with essential minimalism, the curtain design features a light jacquard woven in both single and double layers, with letters woven onto the material as pockets, offering an effect that is shimmering and mysterious.
On the curtain is the message 'Tout ce qui t’empêche de partir, tout cela est ton ennemi' (All that prevents you from leaving, all that is your enemy), a quote that has a special meaning for the artist. For an ongoing series of artworks, he asked his father, a skilled calligrapher, to transcribe texts by French Catholic missionary to Vietnam Saint Théophane Vénard. Vo discovered the quote during a visit to the missionary's birthplace.
Vo asked his father to replicate the quote in his calligraphic style, which was then translated onto the textile, which is made of 74% recycled polyester. Stretching over 5 metres of fabric, the quote becomes a translucent, abstract motif on the curtain that extends his work onto an everyday object.
The launch of Kvadrat Limited
Dahn Vo's design also marks the debut of Kvadrat Limited, new platform by the textile company that will offer limited edition textiles created in collaboration with globally renowned artists, with the aim of allowing people to bring a piece of art into their homes (or commercial spaces). 'For us, it is important to have a material relationship with contemporary art,' says Kvadrat CEO, Anders Byriel, introducing the initiative.
While the white curtain will be widely available, three shades (light pink, light green and beige) will be offered in limited editions. The three pale hues are described by Vo as 'an echo, or memory, of a colour,' and were inspired by a walnut tree at his summer house, with the wood, leaves and flowers inspiring the tonal variation.
The curtains made their debut at Vo's Berlin apartment, where he used them to create a series of partitions within the space, demonstrating their potential in small and large scale applications. Sectioning off large areas of a room, the design becomes a narrative device to transform the space, while it becomes a discreet punctuation when used to screen a window or loosely divide an environment.
The calligraphic motif becomes a shimmering decoration close to a moiré effect, almost invisible in its large-scale application and fully visible only on extended curtain applications.
The project follows Vo's previous collaboration with Kvadrat, featuring the reimagining of Nanna Ditzel's iconic Hallingdal textile, and demonstrates Kvadrat's ability to speak the languages of art and design in the same gesture. 'We love art, it inspires ourselves and our audience, and it is great to be able to share it with our community,' says Byriel. 'This project brings objects together and helps them communicate.'
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Rosa Bertoli was born in Udine, Italy, and now lives in London. Since 2014, she has been the Design Editor of Wallpaper*, where she oversees design content for the print and online editions, as well as special editorial projects. Through her role at Wallpaper*, she has written extensively about all areas of design. Rosa has been speaker and moderator for various design talks and conferences including London Craft Week, Maison & Objet, The Italian Cultural Institute (London), Clippings, Zaha Hadid Design, Kartell and Frieze Art Fair. Rosa has been on judging panels for the Chart Architecture Award, the Dutch Design Awards and the DesignGuild Marks. She has written for numerous English and Italian language publications, and worked as a content and communication consultant for fashion and design brands.
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