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•make your fridays matter with a well-read weekend
by Kohler IndiaPublished on : Mar 30, 2023
Marking a century and a half of bold creativity, innovation and a love for design, Kohler’s journey has been one of humble beginnings, manufacturing artistry, and a lore steeped in supporting bold creators, innovators, and entrepreneurs. Since its inception in 1873, the global design leader—manufacturing kitchen and bath products, luxury cabinetry, tile and lighting, engines, generators, and clean energy solutions—has emphasised the importance of innovation, creativity, and craftsmanship.
In that vein, Kohler's Artist Editions products initiative, which dates back to nearly four decades, was an attempt at bringing beauty to everyday rituals, pushing the boundary of decorative processes, as well as inspiring self-expression to spaces. Inspired by an intersection of visual arts, craftsmanship and manufacturing, Artist Editions in collaboration with global ground-breaking artists brought new life to sinks, bathtubs, and toilets, offering an indisputably fresh perspective on how one can adorn spaces with beautiful textures, intricate patterns, abstract illustrations, and picturesque landscapes.
Kohler is dedicated to creating a space for the cross-section of artistry and craftsmanship in our industry. – Laura Kohler, the chief sustainability and diversity officer for Kohler Co.
Now, to honour 150 years of the brand’s legacy as well as its commitment to creators who are breaking the boundaries with their artistic practices, the global design leader has partnered with four exceptional female artists from four different countries, across disciplines, to create a limited-edition global collection of 12 new Artist Editions products for the bathroom.
Through every product and the experience they create, Kohler aims to elevate everyday moments, setting new standards for gracious living. Their 'The Artist Editions 150 Collection' is synonymous with this vision of celebrating creators who are unafraid of bold action and are inspired to design a better tomorrow. The collection will feature artists—Elle from the United States, Pushpa Kumari from India, Ananda Nahú from Brazil and Ziling Wang from China. “This new Artist Editions collection celebrates women of exceptional talent and diverse backgrounds,” reiterates Laura Kohler.
Titled The Creator’s Journey, the presentation with contemporary artists will be unveiled at the 2023 edition of Milan Design Week. The talented creators were provided carte blanche to bring their visual expressions to Kohler’s products–the Numi 2.0 smart toilet, Brazn sink, and Brazn bathtub. Each product within the collection will be offered in a quantity of 150, a nod to Kohler’s running reign. Additionally, Kohler will also be highlighting a breathtaking aerial sculpture by renowned creator Janet Echelman and a user-controlled design experience at Palazzo del Senato during Fuorisalone in Milan, Italy.
American artist and sculptor, Janet Echelman, is renowned for her large-scale dynamic sculptures. Her work defies any sort of categorisation and exists at the intersections of sculpture, architecture, urban design, material science, structural and aeronautical engineering, and computer science. Combining ancient craft with computational design software, the artist has previously participated in Kohler’s Arts/Industry residency program, more than two decades ago, and has also partnered with Kohler on an Artist Editions vessel sink entitled 18.02 that honours the dynamic nature of water (on display at Kohler’s exhibition).
For Milan Design Week, Echelman and Kohler have partnered to unveil her vibrant Noli Timere installation, suspended overhead and flowing high above the Palazzo del Senato courtyard and a series of illuminated reflective pools, the monumental aerial sculpture offers an immersive experience to the audience. Adding to this mesmeric experience, visitors to Kohler’s installation can also embark on their own ‘Creator journey’ inside an immersive digital experience that allows them to bring art to life through their movements. As colours, patterns, and shapes surround the guests in the Creator room, they transform into artists themselves—manipulating the creative overlay on Kohler’s Numi smart toilet.
The limited-edition collection of 12 new Artist Editions products for the bathroom by the four female contemporary artists embodies an inspired and precise artistic temperament. As they bring Kohler’s products to life with their varied stylistic identities and perspectives, the displayed products still feel like an extension of their own body of work. American graffiti artist Elle, who is considered to be one of the world’s top street artists and has an oeuvre of large-scale projects to her credit, having been exhibited in the prestigious Saatchi Gallery in London, Urban Nation Museum in Berlin, and the New Museum in New York; brings Kohler’s Brazn sink, and Brazn bathtub to life with her collection KOHLER Artist Editions Falling Gently. In dominant hues of pink, blue and purple, the products feel like a refined and encapsulated version of her graffiti art.
Indian artist Pushpa Kumari, visualises a world energised by culture, heritage, observation, and intuitive sensitivity. Though her influences are purely Indian, drawing inspiration from religious and social lore, her work has universal appeal. Her intricate line paintings that have redefined India’s Mithila tradition find their expression in KOHLER Artist Editions Aranya collection. Contrasting Kumari’s subdued colour palette and intricate patterns is Brazilian artist Ananda Nahú’s vibrant and bold expressionism, that emerges through stark captivating colours in the KOHLER Artist Editions Flora Tropical collection. Known for her vibrant murals, the painter, muralist, and visual artist’s style can be distinguished by visual multiculturalism, making re-readings of artistic movements and bringing painting techniques of the past to the present. Nahú’s works present a strong cultural anthropological study of human beings, rescuing art history from the most diverse nationalities, and transforming old currents of thought for the artistic needs of today.
Lastly, Chinese artist Ziling Wang, known for exploring how humans perceive the structure of their external surroundings by reorganising the form of a painting, and for inventing a hardened paint that allows for the material to be suspended inside the frame without adhering to the canvas, finds a means for her abstract expressionism in KOHLER Artist Editions A World on Strings collection. Wang is known for teasing out literal emptiness through her paintings, which can only be filled by the viewer, balancing the product of her own journey of discovery, with the aim for her paintings to be a neutral enabler for the viewer's own interpretation of their experience, and A World on Strings collection is no exception.
If you are in Milan from April 18-23, 2023, don't miss out on Kohler's 'The Creator’s Journey' at Palazzo del Senato in Milan, Italy. For more information, see Studio Kohler.
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