We popped into the Haunch of Venison gallery (as we mentioned before, a convenient culture stop between Bond and Regent Street) this week and saw the most extraordinary exhibition by Korean artist Meekyoung Shin. Ms Shin has sculpted rooms full of beautiful vases -some porcelain, some glass -out of soap! Quite fabulous and you'd struggle to believe that the rooms full of gorgeous shapes and colours were made from something you'd normally find in the bathroom if it wasn't for the give-away smell (which is very carbolicly-pleasent).
In Translation, the vases are all exquisite copies of Chinese porcelain, complete with packing cases. There's a sub plot of transformation/shifting location/fragile manufacture and (I'm guessing) something connecting the fact the Chinese are good at copying stuff from the West themselves, the original porcelain vases would have been made in China for Western consumption.
But my favourite ones were the Ghost Series, a collection of jewel coloured glass-like vase shapes that were set out in colour blocked tables (has Ms Shin been following fashion trends we ask ourselves?). A glorious collection of translucent shades of crimson, amethyst, saffron and honeysuckle (hello? fashion-forward-shade-alert….).
If you are in the vase making business, then the exhibition is worth visiting for shape inspiration alone, but it's a joy to view for all. You really do have to keep reminding yourself that these are made of soap….presumably they are truly buggered if the sprinklers go off for any reason…..
In the book shop (you know we can't resist a good bookshop) there was also a fabulous light fitting/art piece by Stuart Haygarth, which was made up of plastic bits he'd picked up off the shore line, cleaned up, sanded down and suspended. Beautiful and yours for £35,0000. We knew beach combing was worthwhile, now where's my reel of nylon thread…..
Meekyoung Shin, Translation Haunch of Venison London 16 Feb-2nd April