BARE MIN­I­MUM

There are no tell- tale signs of flashy de­sign in the works of th­ese de­sign­ers. Their in­di­vid­ual take on min­i­mal­ism pro­duces unique prod­ucts.

Home & Decor (Malaysia) - - Feature - CHARLES KALKAPIAN

WHEN WAR CAME TO HIS HOME COUN­TRY, FOR­MER GRAF­FITI ARTIST, FUR­NI­TURE AND PROD­UCT DESIGNER, CHARLES KALKAPIAN AND HIS FAM­ILY LEFT LE­BANON FOR FRANCE. “I WAS BORN IN BEIRUT BUT MY FAM­ILY CAME FROM AR­ME­NIA,” THE DESIGNER EX­PLAINS.

Charles, the grand­son of a cabi­net maker, is known for the three di­men­sional ap­proach to his min­i­mal­is­tic de­signs. This res­onates in his brightly coloured shelves and cab­i­nets, Cinétismes for BSL Gallery and Rocky, fea­tured by LaChance. Some, which are cu­bic, cre­ate an aes­thet­i­cally pleas­ing illusion.

He calls his cre­ation, Rocky, a book­shelf as a func­tional paint­ing. It in­volves Bista­bil­ity as part of the process. It is the in­ven­tion of an am­bigu­ous im­age which shocks our brain pathways into chang­ing our vis­ual per­cep­tion. Charles el­e­vates this ef­fect with his choice of colours and shapes.

His pro­nounced colour­block­ing skills re­flect an artis­tic flair. It is not just seen in the shelves, but his clean-cut “boxed” Ah­lan seats up­hol­stered in Kvadrat, boasts a con­tem­po­rary and cosy look. He pairs muted tones like grey with a darker colour to cre­ate an in­ter­est­ing colour con­trast.

Each of his de­signs tells a story. In­flu­enced by the cal­li­graphic past of the Mid­dle East and Europe’s min­i­mal­ist present, it is the life­style of Mid­dle Easterns that he tries to de­pict through the sim­ple and graphic, bold but beau­ti­ful lines of his works. Charles ad­mits, “I was taken with graf­fiti’s pos­si­bil­i­ties but I be­came frus­trated with its twodi­men­sional char­ac­ter.”

Mean­while, Charles is still search­ing for in­no­va­tive ways to cre­ate and light graf­fiti, his favourite, is one of them. His Cedar’s fold­ing screen for ex­am­ple, has a cal­li­graphic el­e­ment on the top and its stems trail­ing down­wards at dif­fer­ent lengths seem to be in­spired by light graf­fiti.

Cre­ativ­ity is in his genes. “My fa­ther was an art direc­tor in an ad­ver­tis­ing com­pany in Bahrein and my mother paints and works in gal­leries in the Mid­dle East,” says Charles.

The designer is cur­rently work­ing on two pri­vate luxury flats in Paris, a cus­tom gallery project, new lights for Nemo Light­ing at Euroluce 2015, fur­ni­ture for Habi­tat, high qual­ity hand­made rugs with an Ar­me­nian dealer, ex­hi­bi­tions at a Col­lec­tive Fair in New York and a solo ex­hi­bi­tion with Ga­lerie BSL.

98 FROM LEFT Ah Lan chair for Dare­nart; Candy Boxes for Habi­tat; Wall Shad­ows for NEMO OMIKRON.

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