A Fondazione Prada exhibition about Chinese export porcelain, designed by Dutch organization Tom Postma Design and style, is housed inside a few prefabricated timber volumes clad in velvet and authentic gold leaf.
Until finally 10 January 2021, The Porcelain Room installation is remaining staged in one particular huge exhibition space in the OMA-intended Torre annexe.
The Porcelain Area has been shortlisted for this year’s Dezeen Award in the exhibition style and design group.
Guests go by way of the wander-through volumes inside of it, tracing the background and legacy of Chinese porcelain in Europe and the Center East.
The installation progresses in chronological purchase, showcasing porcelain items dating again to the arrival of the Portuguese in south China in the early 16th century, all the way up to the 19th century.
Right after passing by the first two rooms, the climactic highlight of the display is the ultimate, gold-gilded home. Right here, 1,400 of the about 1,700 porcelain pieces in the exhibition are suspended from the walls and ceiling.
This offers a contemporary reimagining of the porcelain rooms found in European palaces and aristocratic homes of the time, these types of as the Charlottenburg Palace in Berlin and the Santos Palace in Lisbon.
Then, China plates and other tableware pieces have been used as attractive somewhat than practical objects, organized into lavish displays that included most of the seen surfaces together with the walls and in some cases even the ceiling like three-dimensional wallpaper.
“These porcelain rooms were being the very first examples of men and women employing objects intended for a objective, usually dishes intended for the desk, in a totally distinct way as pieces of a decorative puzzle,” said Jorge Welsh, who curated the exhibition alongside Luísa Vinhais.
“To carry the initial idea into a modern day context, we developed a dense, abstract pattern in which every single piece of porcelain is used instead as if it were a pigment, picked out for its color and form, to generate a kind of mural that engulfs the exhibition area.”
In distinction to this, the initial two volumes are significantly far more muted, included inside of and out in deep brown velvet.
The introductory place houses some of the initial porcelain editions, which ended up created-to-get for Portuguese and Spanish shoppers in the 16th and 17th century.
Of the around 150 parts of this kind that continue being in the environment in accordance to Welsh, 53 are displayed right here, established in opposition to a deep black backdrop and illuminated by spotlights to enable their rarity to converse for alone.
The second space requires the kind of a 12-metre extended corridor, flanked by display screen conditions on possibly facet that comprise afterwards tableware patterns, formed like distinctive animals, veggies and fruit to cater to Western tastes.
This passageway sales opportunities the way into the golden space, with a format developed in collaboration Welsh and Vinhais, who also co-established the Jorge Welsh Functions of Art gallery.
Utilizing cutouts of each individual of the hundreds of plates, they produced a scale product of the area, which was then transferred into a digital drawing by Tom Postma Style.
“We checked every single single plate and assigned it a special code, indexing its display screen place, diameter, typology, the distance from the wall and other info,” Paride Piccinini, an architectural engineer at Tom Postma Style, informed Dezeen.
“Then we connected a existence-sized print out of the drawing to the partitions in buy to drill the supports in precisely the right positions.”
This allowed the crew to create an unobtrusive technique of fixings and lighting that retains the total style and design clean up and small.
“This immersive atmosphere requirements efficient lights to capable to arrive at all the items in all directions, devoid of blinding the visitors or displaying the resource of light-weight,” explained Piccinini.
“This concern has been solved with a process of diffused and hidden spotlights, embedded into the walls, the ceiling, the flooring and the glass balustrade method.”
The gold gilding, which took a group of artisans 5 days to implement to the interior and exterior of the quantity leaf by leaf, mirrors the colors of the porcelain and displays gentle on to the plates from powering.
Apart from the smallest spotlights, the lights procedure was created from reused fixtures from Fondozione Prada‘s existing source. The full set up was created to be disassembled and made use of once again.
“The set up is fully created from timber, with modular panels that can be saved and reused for potential exhibitions,” mentioned Piccinini.
“The metallic supports for the plates, the lights process, cabinets and exhibit scenarios can also be reused for a equivalent set up.”
Other projects nominated for a Dezeen Award in the exhibition style group include things like a memorial crammed with products that belonged to victims of gun violence and ĒTER‘s multi-sensory layout for an exhibition about ASMR at ArkDes.
Pictures is by Mark Niedermann.