⟨ I Know I'll Often Stop and Think About Them ⟩

06-Fork In The Dream

Georg Jensen - Arne Jacobsen Cutlery Set

Words & Photography / Holun Tang
Translation / Fanny Chan

我試過做叉子的夢,恍惚之間看見叉子的影像,或者是從夢中醒來第一時間便想到叉子。是太過想念叉子嗎?總之叉子就好像有生命一樣,深深潛到我的意識裡。

我可以花一整個下午只看刀子和叉子,在一些「世界餐具大全」的目錄書裡不斷看著不同餐具品牌的歷年設計。如果是「首飾年鑑」之類的書,我應該會打呵欠吧,餐具書則不會,光是想像拿起叉子的重量,想像把它放到口裡的感覺便非常有趣,有時也會聯想跟它搭配的食物。看著看著,只有一個形狀的東西竟然有成千上萬種,便覺得很不可思議,頭腦會跟著這些「簡單」的線條漸漸放鬆。

I had dreams about forks; either seeing them in the blurriness of my dreams, or thinking of them as soon as I awake. I wonder if it’s because I think of forks so often that I dream of them? It’s as if forks are alive and they live deep in the recesses of my consciousness.

I can spend an entire afternoon just looking at knives and forks, constantly flipping through the “Handbook of Tableware” to study the catalogues of different tableware brands. However, if I read a handbook about jewelry, I’d probably be yawning, but books on tableware never make me sleepy. Sometimes I use my imagination to feel the weight of a fork in my hand and how it’d feel to put it in my mouth, such imagination amaze me; I’ll even think of the food that might go well with the fork. As I stare at the fork, I find it incredible that such an item that comes in only one shape can evolve into thousands of the very same kind, and my mind flows along its “simple” outline and slowly relaxes.

西式餐具一般以不鏽鋼和木材為主,有的是木手柄,有的會烤上不同顏色的漆,我也買過黑色的琺瑯叉子,雖然都很美,但我鍾情於純不鏽鋼,而且最好是磨砂霧面。

Western-style cutlery is usually made of stainless steel and wood; some have wooden handles, and some are painted with lacquer in different colors. I once bought some black enamel forks, and though they are beautiful, I still prefer matte stainless steel.

我日常愛用的是柳宗理的純不鏽鋼餐具,長年使用後更覺得它是洗練實用兼備的極致,不愧是從使用感開始著手的工藝,同時照顧了手、眼睛、嘴巴和心。說回我在夢裡看到的叉子,卻不是這種實用型的,而是更趨於本源的——丹麥設計師Arne Jacobsen在1957年為丹麥哥本哈根皇家飯店計的餐具。這兩套餐具常常給我如出一轍的感覺。提起Arne Jacobsen,人們有時會說起他一件童年逸事,小時候他希望替自己房間的維多利亞風壁紙「翻新」一下,誰知最後他把整個房間塗白了。這套餐具如今看來相當具有這種意味。卸下修飾,平整線條,只留一個無懈可擊的原始狀態。時間剛剛走了一圈。

Sori Yanagi’s pure stainless steel cutlery is my every-day utensil. Having spent years using them, I am certain that their perfect craftsmanship embraces both elegance and practicality, and they are definitely worthy of acclaim for their dedication to experiences for the hands, eyes, mouth and even heart. So, back to the fork I saw in my dream: it doesn’t focus much on practicality, but rather on the originality of cutlery—it’s part of the cutlery set designed by the Danish designer Arne Jacobsen for the SAS Royal Hotel in Copenhagen in 1957. I always think that the two sets of tableware share the same essence. When it comes to Arne Jacobsen, people would sometimes talk about his childhood stories; when he was young, he wanted to “revive” the Victorian-style wallpaper of his room, but ended up painting the entire room white. The design of his cutlery seemingly bears a certain resemblance to the story; eliminating the decoration, refining the outline, and leaving the design at its impeccably raw and fresh condition. The clock marks the passing of time.