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A piece of light and shadow emerging from darkness

Sixteen Acts by Michael Anastassiades

Words & Photography / MIDWAY
Translation / Ian Tsang

與設計師Michael Anastassiades的作品結緣是兩年前的巴黎之旅。入住旅館的房間之內,吊著的燈泡仿若飄浮在空中的「FLOS IC Light」,玻璃球體與黃銅燈架的線條雕塑出光與空間的詩意,深邃幽暗,能使人一直看著他,思索良久。後來,在京都一個充滿襌意的展覽之中,又見識了「BEOSOUND EDGE」的極簡揚聲器,一座厚重渾圓的個體置於地上,無聲無息地奏出有形之聲。單單這兩項作品已能體現出 Michael Anastassiades 的設計哲學,利用符號和簡單的形態做出一種展現一種不確定感與不平衡的美感,讓作品置身於藝術及工藝的相交處。

I first took fancy in the creations of the designer Michael Anastassiades during my trip to Paris two years ago. Inside the hotel room where I stayed, I encountered “FLOS IC Light”, with light bulbs seemingly floating in mid-air. Glass spheres and outlines of the brass lamp hanger weave together a poetic sentiment of light and space, being quiet, dark and deep, prompting us to hold our gaze, lost in thought for a long while. Later on, in Kyoto, at an exhibition rich in Zen, I came across “BEOSOUND EDG”, a minimalist loudspeaker, which is a spherical object, both thick and heavy, resting in silence on the floor, discreetly emitting tangible sound. These two creations alone will suffice to illustrate Michael Anastassiades´s design philosophy, which features the use of symbols, and simple shapes and forms to present the beauty of unpredictability and imbalance, thereby placing his creations at the intersection where arts and craftsmanship meet.

 

來到了2020年的時尚家居設計展 Maison & Objet Paris,作為當屆的 Designer of Year,Anastassiades 的個人同名品牌展出名為「Sixteen Acts」的作品。由他所設計的16件浮遊燈飾「Mobile Chandelier Collection」將首次齊聚一堂,向世人展示其精美極簡的平衡美學。從喧鬧的會場走進四面圍上高牆的展館內,氣氛一下子變換起來,緩緩漂浮著的光點如同太空中的行星一樣移動,在平白的背景前喚起了淡淡詩意。藉由燈具的線條語言,我們可以從各種幾何線條中,看見他的作品如何在空間的律動中找到平衡點,讓人停下腳步不停注視。而同時因為物件細節經過簡化,被視作為燈具的痕跡已不明顯,這樣「身份不明」的一件藝術品在激起觀者好奇心的同時,也串連起人與物件的互動。

In 2020, at the fashionable household design exhibition Maison & Objet Paris, as the Designer of the Year, Anastassiades put on display, under his own brand bearing his name, his work titled “Sixteen Acts”. His “Mobile Chandelier Collection”, which consists of 16 pieces of floating illumination he designed, came together for the first time, showcasing his delicate and minimalist aesthetics of balance. The move from the bustling venue to the exhibition hall surrounded by four walls brings an instant change of atmosphere. Light spots floating gently in the air move like the planets, evoking a mild poetic sentiment against the plain background. Through the language of lighting conveyed by outlines, we can discern in various geometric lines how his work manages to find a point of balance in the rhythmic movement within the space, prompting us to halt our steps to stare. At the same time, thanks to the simplification  of the object’s details, the traces of the features of lighting are no longer clear. Such an “obscure” piece of art arouses the curiosity of viewers while connecting humans and objects together for an interaction.

 

回歸到光的命題之上,他將燈光視為散發溫暖的來源,與黑暗的空間並存,與其讓黑夜變成白天,倒不如接受黑暗的存在。因此他把燈具變得不單是一個照明器具,而是家中的一個裝飾品,並視為他對設計的想法。畢竟燈具大部份的時間都是處於熄滅的狀態,難怪設計師本人都特意叮囑我們在不同時分都務必前來一趟。

眼前的作品在形態上簡約之致,背後的開發過程同樣是一絲不苟才能把細節做好,電線配置都一一隱藏在外表之內。這是為何 Michael Anastassiades 多年來除了為其他品牌做設計外,同時卻堅持製作自家燈具的原因。過程中,玻璃怎樣燒、怎樣打磨,金屬如何焊接都可以一手掌控,更能把關每個細節。要簡化一項物品的外觀,往往需要付出很多時間和精力,「簡約」和「簡單」之間的確不能劃上一個等號。

Returning to the theme of light, he regards lighting as the source of warmth co-existing with the space of darkness. Rather than turning night into day, he prefers to accept the existence of darkness. Therefore, he transforms lighting into something beyond their function of lighting up space, into a decoration at home, and this has translated into how he sees design. After all, the lights are off most of the time. Little wonder the designer himself has reminded us to definitely visit at different times of the day.

The work before us is executed to perfection in minimalism in its form. It is thanks to the equally scrupulous development process that all the details are well taken care of, with all electric wires hidden beneath the surface. That is why for many years Michael Anastassiades has insisted on creating his own lighting devices on top of designing for other brands. During the process, he has full control of how to blow and polish glass, as well as how to weld metal, ensuring quality every step of the way. Simplifying the appearance of an object normally requires considerable time and effort. We cannot simply equate “minimalist” with “simple”.