August 3, 2017
Achille Salvagni London Flagship Atelier presents 'Kyoto'
Achille Salvagni draws inspiration from the rich and fascinating heritage of Japan's ancient imperial capital with new limited-edition works.
by New York Spaces
NYS: What can we expect from your London Flagship Atelier's Kyoto?
Achille Salvagni: Marking a departure from my favored exploration of Roman design, I looked towards Japan, a country with a long and rich art and design history. Choosing to evoke the atmosphere of a traditional Japanese interior where a more minimal aesthetic is treasured, we make reference to the simple beauty of a tatami floor using a soft natural color for the silk carpet. We are also decorating the walls in a traditional red bamboo inspired by the Kiyomizu-dera Temple in Kyoto.
NYS: Tell us about the inspiration behind the name!
Achille Salvagni: Kyoto was once Japan's imperial capital and the center of Japanese culture for more than
1,000 years. Today the city retains a very important cultural significance and is synonymous with traditional fine craftsmanship, ancient temples, serene gardens and sophisticated tea ceremonies. For this exhibition, these are my interpretations from the many influences derived from the rich and fascinating heritage of this extraordinary city.
NYS: How many limited-edition pieces will you showcase? What is the edition number on most?
Achille Salvagni: For this exhibition, we will showcase 13 very limited-edition pieces. The edition number varies from 3 to 6 for the key pieces and usually up to 20 for the armchairs and lamps. We will also display an exceptionally rare pair of benches by Gio Ponti from 1930 of which only four were ever produced! We are lucky enough to have two of them here.
NYS: Did you design the collection around the idea of a traditional Japanese minimal aesthetic, or did that come second when you saw them all together?
Achille Salvagni: I have always been inspired by the Japanese minimal aesthetic and you can already find some reference to it in my previous designs – in the lines and use of the lacquer in my furniture designs, specifically in the seating. For this collection, I initially designed around the idea Japanism and then some previous pieces such as the Lancea lamp appeared meaningful in that theme. I have recently completed a yacht, Endeavour, which has a far Eastern influence due to the owner's request and this has had a quite an influence on my work lately.
NYS: We love the idea behind the Gae armchair! Please tell our readers the inspiration behind this design.
Achille Salvagni: The Gae armchair references the bamboo basket chair by artists Isamu Noguchi and Isamu Kenmochi, utilizing an exaggerated tapered leg design that is a contemporary update of a traditional Japanese style.
NYS: How did you reimagine your iconic Lancea lamp shades to reference a Japanese style?
Achille Salvagni: The Lancea lamp design is already close to the Japanese aesthetic. Its sharpness and
minimalist design is reinforced by the roughness of the burnished brass that the base is made of. Using traditional Japanese silk for the shade of this lamp and exploring traditional Japanese paper folding techniques we have updated the original design and given in a contemporary Japanese influence.
NYS: What is a favorite aspect of this collection and why?
Achille Salvagni: To be able to design a complete collection with a central theme running throughout allows me to able to find a harmony between each of the works. Even when bringing in some outside additional works, such as the Ponti benches, we are able to find this balance because the overriding element in the whole show is quality. It is a privilege to be able to work with some of the greatest artisans in the world and to continually create new and exciting works and push the boundaries of what is achievable. The dialogue in this creative process is ever changing and always exciting.
NYS: How does the Hokkaido wolf play into your collection?
Achille Salvagni: The show is divided into two main rooms, the first room echoes a traditional Chashitu (tea room) and the second room is a dining room. In the dining room is our main centerpiece, the Fabula dining table which pays homage to the now extinct Hokkaido wolf, immortalizing its characteristics in bronze and paying tribute to the indigenous Ainu people of Japan who revere the wolf as the deity Horkew Kamuy (Howling God).
NYS: What trademark materials can design lovers expect to find in your collection?
Achille Salvagni: In this show, we used materials such an onyx, marble, bronze, parchment and gold-leaf, all traditionally noble materials and ones which I continually reference throughout my collection
NYS: What are the run dates for the exhibition?
Achille Salvagni: September 14th 2017 – January 12th 2018
NYS: What are you working on now?
Achille Salvagni: We have two townhouse projects underway in Manhattan, a villa in Miami designed from the ground up, a private residence in Gdansk, several yachts, my book with Rizzoli, the debut of my 1st tabletop collection in collaboration with J.L Coquet, and the next London show to consider. In addition, we have to starting thinking about our participation in a few European art fairs for 2018 and beyond.
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