Published on : Thursday, July 6, 2017
Drawing on 15 years of research, Dutch designer Hella Jongerius presents “Breathing Colour”, an installation-based exhibition guides visitors through a day in vivid colour. Separated into three sections – Morning, Noon and Evening – the show explores how colour and form behave in different light conditions and how it can affect our perception of them.
The designer shares, “There is a phenomenon in colorimetry called metamerism. This was the starting point in my colour research.”
Metamerism refers to the way in which colours can look completely different depending on lighting conditions. Throughout the show, Jongerius makes a plea to embrace the phenomenon of metamerism, stating that while most manufacturers see the effect as problematic and try to produce products with flat, unchanging hues, she encourages the use of “layered pigments that provide intense colours that are allowed to breathe with changing light.”
While the ‘Morning’ section of the showcase explores the differences between lightness and brightness with hanging resin beads and tapestries, the ‘Noon’ section examines the intensity of the overhead midday sun.
In the centre of the ‘Noon’ space, a crisp display of paper sculptures take centre stage, displayed across a series of coloured plinths. These are Jongerius’s ‘Colour Catchers’, versions of which can also be found throughout the ‘Morning’ and ‘Evening’ sections of the exhibition. Created by folding and gluing complex patterns of cardboard, the convex surfaces and facets in the ‘Colour Catchers’ absorb and reflect the colours of the panels they rest on. The gradations of reflected colours mix with the colour of the sculpture, producing a three-dimensional colour chart.
Jongerius says, “They are the ultimate shape to research colour, shadows and reflections. They are my canvases.”
In the darkened ‘Evening’ element of the exhibition, Jongerius explores shadows through an arrangement of black, customised versions of famous furniture designs by the likes of Charles and Ray Eames, Jean Prouve and Verner Panton. On the walls, large scale textile experiments in wool, linen and cotton threads demonstrate Jongerius’s quest to create black tones without the use of black materials.
Jongerius concludes, “With this exhibition, I hope to build an archive and create a tool for understanding colour,’ says Jongerius of her solo show. ‘I want to demonstrate how powerful colour can be.”