André Fu presents Art Deco Garden, a new collection of furniture (opens in new tab) by his brand André Fu Living, inspired by Art Deco and the Zen gardens of Kyoto. The collection comprises cabinets, armchairs and dining chairs, tables, room dividers as well as porcelain tableware and wallcoverings in collaboration with De Gournay.
‘On the new collection, I was interested in exploring if there is a means to reinterpret the Art Deco silhouettes against the sensibility of Zen gardens,’ says Fu. ‘In many ways, I want to deconstruct the Art Deco formal patterns with the sensuous movement characteristic of Zen gardens. It will be intriguing to juxtapose the two highly distinct and culturally different design elements.’
Starting from two seemingly unrelated points of references, the designer weaves a visual narrative based on delicate intersecting lines, combining the meditative motifs of raked sand and the gilded patterns of Art Deco architecture. The design process went hand in hand with rigorous research into historical Japanese Zen gardens, with a particular focus on the Tofukuji Temple Garden. What attracted Fu was the use of nature as a raw material to create lyrical spaces, and the masterful use of pebbles to create fluid lines and evoke a sense of visual movement and serenity.
The collection’s visual focus is the delicately hand-drawn silk paper surfaces of cabinets and the room divider, individually hand-painted and finished with silver and gold gilding on delicate hues of blue, brown and beige. These abstract motifs discreetly reference Japanese gardens and calligraphy, adding subtle decoration to the sophisticated collection. The same patterns are recreated in smaller scale on the porcelain tableware, a minimalist design in white enriched with a palette of almond taupe, mink brown and gold gilding.
‘My personal design approach is not just about combining styles together,’ says Fu. ‘Rather, it rests on an ability to navigate different cultures and reflect contemporary culture based on the inherent qualities of beauty itself, as opposed to just based on any one style.’
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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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