Collaborating with Æquō, India’s first collectible design gallery in Colaba, brazilian designer and pioneer of revolutionized furniture design Humberto Campana delves into India’s techniques and raw materials for an extraordinary show titled Atuxuá.
Showcasing the international Designers revitalizing Indian Traditions, Æquō founded by Tarini Jindal Handa has given a platform to artists like Cédric Courtin, a French designer based in Tamil who manipulates leather to give armchairs lively fringed skirts, and Chamar Studio, who warps and grommets rubber and canvas to form light sconces that double as wall sculptures.
Named after the intricate Brazilian masks, the Atuxuá exhibition is a homage to Sabai grass – a native Indian fibre. The merging of history and avant-garde design is evident in the centrepiece: a unique cabinet coated in Sabai grass, inspired by India’s natural material.
The intriguing cabinet is meticulously ribbed with brass wires as delicate as the fibre itself using traditional technique applied in a bundle of grass for trade. It took weeks to hand-sewing each blade of grass onto a bamboo lattice to recreate the impressive mass that Sabai grass represents during its harvest.
Other æquō designers include French interior designer Valériane Lazard, multidisciplinary artist and designer Boris Brucher, and their newest client, Estudio Campana, helmed by Brazilian designers Fernando and Humberto Campana. Each designer finds a way to combine their personal aesthetic with Indian crafts—like weaving, leather work, and metalsmithing—to create a new language in India’s design world.
India’s small, but growing, bespoke design scene also made its way to London last month at PAD London from October 10-13.
Florence Louisy, æquō’s creative director showcased India’s ancient art of enameling in the Esmal series Lights. Florence is showing other works at PAD London. She exhibited her piece “Office Bar,” a discreet cabinet made from oxidized copper and stainless steel sourced from Jaipur, and the “Camur” table, made from plywood with a shiny teak veneer supported on two thick, curvy pillars.
In this practice copper and colorful glass are thrown into wood fire, which melds them into an iridescent, slightly translucent material adjacent to stained glass. The laborious process is usually applied to small trinkets, but Florence worked alongside artisans to experiment with enameling large pieces of furniture.
Enameling is a universal technique, however, as is often the case, the most traditional methods create the most beautiful results.
Such collaboration between Æquō and international designers attests the power of design to integrate with traditional craftsmanship which can create the products of natural beauty.