Gallery ALL—a relative newcomer to the scene, bringing cutting-edge contemporary design to their spaces in Los Angeles and Beijing—is currently giving over its Beijing location to the crystalline forms of American design duo Benjamin Aranda and Christopher Lasch, aka Aranda\Lasch. Featuring stools, tables, chairs, a rippling dividing screen, and other beguiling forms, the exhibition is titled “Aranda\Lasch: Crystal Rules.” As in: the multifaceted shape of the crystal sets the rules for these pieces, and the crystal totally rules!
“We are drawn [to] designs that challenge the limit of structures and materials, intersect with the disciplines of technology, art, and design,” explain the gallery’s founders. True to their claim, the furniture-cum-art objects that Aranda\Lasch have concocted appear simultaneously organic, high-tech, enticing, and playfully improbable. Take their chairs, for example, which, at first glance, seem more like multipart sculptures than cozy seating. Their Rose Chair sits low to the ground, its back shaped like a blocky, fragmented rose. Its seat is composed of interconnected triangles, which pairs perfectly with their side tables, formed of a thick pile-up of repeating, geometric parts. Their Scallop Table, on the other hand, is less angular. It features scalloped edges that seem to drape down from its smooth top. A few of these edges touch the ground, serving as the table’s legs, while others stop just short to hover delicately above it, as if the table could lift off into the air at any moment.
Pieces like these feed into the gallery’s mission to serve as a bridge between East and West, and to introduce bold, fresh, international designers to a Chinese audience that is hungry for them. “China [has been] recognized as the world’s factory for the past few decades,” the founders claim. “We want to make a statement, the new era of design in China, [not] only ‘Made in China.’”
“Aranda\Lasch: Crystal Rules” is on view at Gallery ALL August 12 – November 12, 2014.