LEBANON’S HOUSE OF TODAY: NEW NATURE BY KHALED EL MAYS
Published by Sugar & Cream, Monday 13 December 2021
Text & images courtesy of House of Today
The Organic Movement And Juxtapositions Of Colour And Form – Design Miami 2021
House of Today presents Khaled El Mays’ latest collection at Design Miami/ Curio 2021 from 1-5 December 2021. The vibrant new series, made with craftspeople from Mexico City, is the product of a continuous relationship between the Lebanese designer and non-profit organization.
New Nature captures the blurred lines of emergence, a moving state where volumes shift, interact and weave together before taking solid shape. The organic movement and juxtapositions of colour and form, that in some moments blend and in others contrast, reflect this kinetic motion.
“I have slowly been approaching the Art Nouveau period of design history, attempting to extract subtle lines to make them my own. New Nature, the result of four years of research, is a new angle and interpretation of this period infused with contemporary nodes and a playfulness that I always like to invite as a consistent thread in my work. The exploration is ongoing and most importantly, now intertwined with Mexico City, where I was introduced to a new language of colour and craft without which this series would not have come into being.” – Khaled El Mays
Presented by Som Santoso
The five-piece series, made of two mirrors, a cabinet, a coffee table and the designer’s first ever chair, is an ensemble of various and high craft particular to Mexico City, where the collection was produced. El Mays uses leather, wood and, for the first time, ceramics. Having produced with craftspeople from native Lebanon and Italy previously, the novel use of ceramics brings an added layer, “a hint of surrealism to a collection very much inspired by the lines of Art Nouveau, which has always fascinated me.”
House of Today’s founder, Cherine Magrabi Tayeb, in fact recommended that Khaled explore artisanal ceramic workshops while visiting the Mexican capital, as part of a mentorship that began in 2016. Despite ongoing economic crisis in Lebanon, House of Today is intent on strategizing new ways to nurture and promote Lebanese design culture and support its designers. In addition to devising residency programs and educations scholarships abroad, the platform continues to actively promote Lebanese contemporary design internationally.
“Lebanon is known for design, and our designers are our cultural ambassadors to the world, painting a positive face of what our country has to offer. It is imperative that we continue to encourage creative growth and expression, and empower design culture as a contributing force to change. House of Today will continue to help foster an inspiring design scene and encourage creative growth against all odds.” – Cherine Magrabi Tayeb
New Nature solo exhibition is the second Design Miami/ collaboration between House of Today and Khaled el Mays, the first being a House of Today curated group show in Curio 2017. The collection debut aims to bring more international exposure to Khaled el Mays’ work, which was most recently exhibited at the Dior Showcase and Nilufar Gallery, that commissioned and displayed a solo collection, during Milan Design Week in September 2021.
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