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A Singular Beauty: Broached East

Elana Castle talks to Lou Weis about the historical inspiration for the collective’s latest limited edition design collection

Broached Commissions, Broached East


BY owen Lynch

March 7th, 2013


Broached Commissions, the Melbourne-based design collective have launched Broached East, a limited edition collection that investigates the relationship between Australia, China and Japan in the late 19th century.

Broached Commissions, Broached East

Inside Out Cabinet Prototype- Adam Goodrum

“Broached is interested in how momentous events in history filter into the present,” explains co-founder Lou Weis.  “Australia’s relationship to Asia has been a complex issue since settlement, the issue becoming particularly intense and polarised during the gold rush.  It was during this period that trade with China, India and Japan really picked up as did our hostility to the migration of Asians en masse.  We chose this period because it’s when so much of our sense of identity – as an outpost of Europe in the South Pacific – was cast.”

Weis worked closely with six artists and designers including Naihan Li, Keiji Ashizawa, Azuma Makoto, Adam Goodrum, Charles Wilson and Trent Jansen, the latter three all Broached Commissions founding and permanent design members.

Broached Commissions, Broached East

Ellipse Light – Keiji Ashizawa

Broached Commissions, Broached East

Ellipse Light – Keiji Ashizawa

Goodrum’s Inside Out Cabinet, Wilson’s Broached East Dressing Table and Jansen’s Chinaman’s File Rocking Chair all explore historical narratives and ideas stemming from the particular time period.

Broached Commissions, Broached East

Chinaman’s File Rocking Chair – Trent Jansen

Broached Commissions, Broached East

Chinaman’s File Rocking Chair – Trent Jansen

“Wilson’s dressing table is a delicate, petit piece, a return to the romance of the pre-modern dresser which subtly references classical Chinese aesthetics,” explains Weis.  “However, the character of the dressing table has been made intentionally ambiguous with a sophisticated play between vernacular Chinese styles, highly advanced manufacturing, LED lighting technologies and the simple desire to create a work entirely committed to enabling a singular beauty.”

Broached Commissions, Broached East

Armillary Whisky Bar – Naihan Li

Broached Commissions, Broached East

Armillary Whisky Bar – Naihan Li

Ashizawa’s Ellipse Light highlights the combination of modernism dovetailed with Japanese craft while Li’s Armillary Whisky Bar and Makoto’s Paludarium Shigelu provide a strong historical understanding of the period.  “Li brought an incredibly simple insight on the mentality of Chinese gold prospectors,” adds Weis.  “She refused to believe that they were silent poor workers.  Instead she saw them as adventurous and cheeky, willing to do whatever it took to get ahead.”

Broached Commissions, Broached East

Paludarium Shigelu – Azuma Makoto

The combined collection is a uniquely bespoke, rich and impeccably crafted insight into the human and industrial stories of this critical period in Australian history.

For details on Broached East Melbourne, click here.

For details on Broached East Sydney, click here.

Broached Commissions

broachedcommissions.com

 

 


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