Design Centre Stories

Gallery Highlights: International Makers

Artefact’s galleries present a global outlook of craft, with makers from all over the world coming together in one magnificent space in the Design Avenue. The show builds on the existing international offering within the showrooms and cements Design Centre, Chelsea Harbour’s role as a world-renowned hub of design.

Many of Artefact’s galleries deal in objects from specific countries or regions, such as Katie Jones, who has three decades’ of experience working with contemporary Japanese art, or Madeinbritaly, which was founded to make greater creative connections between Italy and the UK. Others take great pains to simply source the best – wherever in the world they may find it.

Global recognition means that works from the makers showing at Artefact have found their way into the permanent collections of world’s best museums, from the V&A in London to New York’s Museum of Arts and Design and the Musée National de Céramique de Sèvres, just outside Paris.

Delve into the craftsmanship of other countries here, and see how talented makers are upholding traditions that are sometimes centuries old, while forging a contemporary path.

Work at Katie Jones shows the exciting range of output from Japan at the moment, from Koichi Io’s otherworldly ‘Three Legs Shakudo Vessel’ (above left), made from an alloy of copper and gold that has a deep blue hue, to Fumie Sasai’s urushi lacquered sculpture (above centre). Jones also represents Takayuki Sakiyama, a recent finalist in the prestigious Loewe Foundation Craft Prize; his rippling stoneware sculpture ‘Choto (Listening to the Waves)’ is pictured above right.

Lloyd Choi Gallery is showing a selection of pieces from the recent exhibition Material Dialogue, showcasing South Korean contemporary craft. Pictured above is work from Yun Ju Cheol, whose tactile ceramics are made with a technique of his own – he uses a traditional rice straw brush to create natural and irregular marks before adding gold to the peaks of each spike.

Asia may have one of the strongest craft traditions, but other countries can compete on the world stage, too – albeit with a very different aesthetic. Cynthia Corbett Gallery is showing work by US artist Chris Antemann, who has been artist-in-residence at the Meissen porcelain factory since 2010; her ‘Lemon’ chandelier is pictured above left. Andrea Salvatori, showing at Madeinbritaly, subverts historical traditions with bulbous shapes and asymmetry, creating pop-kitsch creations (above centre), while Bulgarian artist Daniel Mirchev at Cube Gallery makes sculpture from wood (above right) that often features ridges and folds like rippling fabric or a topographical map.

International glassmakers are also well represented. Head to Vessel Gallery to see Danish maker Karin Mørch’s incredibly sinuous pieces that trace a ribbon-like line in the air (above left) or Ting-Ying Gallery to view the ethereal work of China-born Jinya Zhao (above centre). Canadian-born, British-based glassmaker Michèle Oberdieck, showing at Contemporary Applied Arts, uses the graal technique for her luminous vessels (above right), which results in softly bleeding colour. and stunning multi-layered effects.