Art and interior design need not fall along the lines of highbrow sophistication, and who says they can’t evoke that playfulness that lights up an entire room? From creative pieces to cover your walls with, to design pieces and furniture, there are many ways in which you can allow your inner child’s personality radiate through your home and maybe even an office space. We’ve compiled 10 works that portray the whimsy, wit and wondrousness that we hope will put you back in touch with your adolescence:
1. Yuichi Yokoyama, Ourselves Edition 2
Whilst Yokoyama’s ‘Ourselves’ series takes on unique and seemingly unrecognizable shapes, they consist of a certain correlation to that of anyone’s childhood. They are undeniably comprised of playful, unregulated forms that depict the artist’s fascination with his own childhood. Using Japanese manga as a source of his inspiration, the paintings in this series act as a spin-off from the characters in his books.
Yokohama admits to “avoid thinking of a character for each face.” However, we can’t help but to try and envisage ourselves or identify these characters to someone close to us, unintentionally assuming a closeness and intimacy to them.
2. Island6 (Liu Dao), Uniform
An international multidisciplinary art collective based at the Island6 Arts Centre in Shanghai, Liu Dao is comprised of tech geeks and creative talents that seek to produce cutting-edge art. By engaging with thoughts on the future of Asia along with entities from old and new China, the art they produce is no less visual, interactive, conceptual, humorous and sombre. Unsurprisingly, their works are always striking.
‘Uniform’ expresses the significance of the firefighter uniform against that of China’s socialist idealism, representing both equality and anti-individualism. However, it takes on a comical approach. The firefighters in this work are presented through light-hearted and familiar mediums such as papercuts and paper collage, later imposed with LED display that then results in a moving image.
3. Yi Peng, Growing 2
Yi Peng was impressively awarded a Bachelors, Masters, and PhD in glass work, and has done research in both Chinese and Western methods of lampworking. She combines this ‘East meets West’ approach into contemporary glass art. Through her work’s engagement with nature, an air of ephemerality and fleetingness arises. The delicate representation of nature portrays fresh imageries of life through its different stages. It is through this purity that we are able to relate to relate her works to a youthfulness that may have been forgotten.
4. Resatio Adi Putra, Escaping Dystopia
Adi Putra creates otherworldly feels through the combination of mark making, collage, and photography, with both digital and manual processes. He studies dialogues between the notions of body, nature, and spirituality. This results in images with undercurrents of mystery that are formed through childlike means of imagination, dabbling with surrealist characteristics.
By dissecting, deconstructing and reconstructing, the artist too lets his mind wander into re-writing narratives. His method of collecting, sourcing and finding these materials instils a sense of nostalgia—of the activities we might have done to pass the time as children. These playful imageries certainly have the capacity to take us back in time.
5. Jinggoy Buensuceso, Doodle Chair
A child’s drawing directly inspires the Doodle series by Buensuceso. The artist states how he met a savant child who refused to stop drawing on walls whilst he was struggling to find inspiration for a chair he had to finish. By extracting the visual childlike strokes and whirls, he created a wire that then formed a chair. Through copious amounts of welding and hammering, Buensuceso’s wild idea came to fruition.
Resembling Picasso’s air drawings, his works are playful and visually arresting. It further pushes one to contemplate forms through the eyes of a child. To make this work even more impressive, this chair can be lifted with one finger and can withhold the weight of a 300-pound man.
6. Chihiro Kudo, Fantasize
Kudo’s works are dotted with elements of wonder that seem to lure viewers in. Her paintings of women and children exude warmness, and is yet contrasted with strangeness and cuteness, all harmonized in perfect balance; they leave viewers in an oddly peaceful state of mind. Charming yet relatable, it isn’t surprising how Kudo’s works have been incredibly popular, reeling viewers into their own child-like personas through her intriguing paintings.
7. Averroes, Sweepin’
A painter from Bandung, Indonesia, Averroes’s abstract expressionist works are no doubt akin to the playfulness evoked by a child’s work. His motivations are derived from expressing his perspective of nature and humanism through his animated brush techniques, and he successfully executes this in his works.
It is through this emotive composition of his works that we too feel a sense of vitality and freedom. Averroes states how “To be a painter I must always want to learn something, and have a sense of curiosity”. This noticeably falls along the lines of childlike demeanour, encouraging the necessity to re-engage with our own youth.
8. Carla Baz, Malishka, The Russian Doll Box
Represented by Joy Mardini Design Gallery, Carla Baz, along with 12 other designers were invited to devise thirteen boxes of various functions so as to reinterpret conventional aesthetics. These boxes represented each designer’s particular sensibility. Baz looked to Russian dolls to create this three-part storage system. Rendered n embroidered leather, it further serves its function of housing trinkets and jewelry.
A sense of nostalgia radiates through this design, not only from the design’s function but also in the way that it has been executed. Function meets the fantastical, allowing us to reconnect with elements of our childhood that may seem long forgotten.
9. Yusong Zhang, Lego Coffee Table
Lego bricks are indubitably linked to most childhoods, and this useful yet playful design was exactly what Yusong Zhang was gunning for. Zhang, together with his love for Lego, sought to challenge himself by building a truly functional design with Lego bricks as his sole medium.
This coffee table was constructed with 10,480 Lego bricks, devoid of screws or glue. The bricks have been arranged in 4 coloured layers, and are made entirely of standard 2x4 blocks. The interlocking connections reinforce the structure and allows it to withstand a surprising amount of weight, with Zhang describing how he’s put up his two feet and a large stack of magazines with no issues.
10. Kevin Keev, Koko/Didi
Keev’s ‘Childhood Memories’ (or Kemarau Vakansi which translates to Dry Season Vacancy) series is directly influenced by his ponderings of childhood. He recounts his childhood by re-creating his memories with acrylic on canvas, not only portraying positive moments but also moments that may have been negative, where he was perhaps met with loneliness. Depicted with a vagueness and neutrality, the works in this series make it unnervingly relatable to a viewer’s own.
(Local art news: 4 Things You Need To Know About 137 Pillars' New "Art Rotation")