Known for their conceptual play on materials, the Dutch duo Formafantasma has geared up to take on the pure physics and alchemical employment of materials of car brand Lexus, for their Salone del Mobile exhibition. Embracing the Japanese stalwart's theme of ‘anticipation’, the Italians created ‘An encounter with anticipation’ – three site specific installations that merge Lexus’ futuristic vision with their poetic elegance.
Of the three individual experiences, the most immersive and experimental space features three kinetic steel pieces, slowly moving in synergy. Fuelled by a similar hydrogen cell technology to that used by Lexus, the rotating pieces hang above a powder pink Perspex floor; yet it is what lies beneath – the hydrogen – that controls the works. The gas is used to power the light in the graphic shapes, creating a surreal aura.
The space is somewhat altered by an added touch. With the same ethos of experimentation, the hydrogen lamps were surrounded by a 'taste' experience. The surprising morsels included something resembling a lily pad floating on water, topped with a red jus; and another, a fish broth with a gelatine burst inside. Both were conceived by Michelin starred Milanese chef Yoji Tokuyoshi. The flavours were totally unusual, set somewhere between sweet and sour, both intensifying the 'power of water'.
For a second installation, Formafantasma take Lexus’ DNA as a car brand and pair this with Japanese textile and architectural traditions. Creating a dramatic illusion of threads lifting a LF-FC concept car in slow motion, the enclosed vehicle is surrounded by light, accentuating a powerful distortion.
The third install shows a full appreciation for the innovation in materials employed by Lexus. Decorated using the same Japanese lacquering technique applied to the LF-FC car, Formafantasma realised 16 geometric chairs, positioned as an entrance or meeting point – a further play, perhaps, on the ‘anticipation’ of what game changing innovation Lexus might reveal yet.