FAB TO FORE
BESPOKE FURNITURE, KINETIC ART AND THE LAUNCH OF A ONE-OF-A-KIND BOOK WILL BE AMONG THE HIGHLIGHTS OF DUBAI DESIGN WEEK,
MB&F M.A.D. Gallery, Dubai, has collaborated with India-based gallery Apical Reform and its branch AR Gallery, Dubai, to create two kinetic art sculptures to be launched during Dubai Design Week (Nov. 12 – 17).
The artworks are inspired by mechanical art and are titled “Tornado” and “Stingray” respectively. Embodying the aesthetics of using mechanical motion and movement to convey artistic expression, a third piece titled “Schermo” will also be on display, which pays homage to the mechanical prowess of supercars. It focuses on the play between light and movement.
The limited edition art works will be on display from Nov. 12 to Dec. 30 at both AR Gallery in d3 (Dubai Design District) and MB&F M.A.D. Gallery in Dubai Mall.
“Tornado” mimics the power and rhythmic rise and fall of a whirlpool, held as one of nature’s most beautiful natural phenomena. “Stingray” is a study in the synergy between art, mathematics, mechanics and electronics.
Seeking its inspiration from the mighty stingray, this abstract kinetic sculpture pays reverence to the majesty of nature and captures the beauty and trance-like movement of the stingray in slow motion.
The unmistakable forms of Ferrari GTO 250, Aston Martin DB5 and Lamborghini Miura 19661973 provided great inspiration for “Schermo”.
Renowned international designer Leyla Uluhanli will also be launching her latest furniture collection at Downtown Design exhibition during Dubai Design Week 2018 (Nov. 13 – 16). Paying homage to mid-century American interiors, Leyla Uluhanli Interiors Studio will be debuting nine bespoke pieces that define the unifying theme of ‘harmony’. It will be a balance between traditional and modern, local and international, homogenous and the eclectic.
The launch will not only mark the entry of the studio to the Middle East, but will also be a milestone celebration with the Middle Eastern launch of ‘Mosques: Splendors of Islam’, an authoritative book on mosques and Islamic design authored by Uluhanli herself.
Leyla Uluhanli Interiors Studio was established in 2005, and its furniture is created from natural materials including fine wood, bronze and antique brass, galiusha shark-leather, semi-precious stones and exotic selenite.
All the pieces are constructed using complex traditional methods in Italy and Portugal, with some intricate elements being produced by Russian craftsmen.
Maximilian Busser, Founder and Curator of MB&F M.A.D. Gallery, speaks to Time Out
* How did you become acquainted with Apical Reform/ AR Gallery? What impresses you most about their vision?
Like most, if not all, of our collaborations, it starts with a meeting between two creators. I loved Amrish (Founder and Principal, Apical Reform) and Darshan’s (Director, Apical Reform) work (was blown away by Sonuslexica they presented two years ago at Design Days Dubai).
So when Amrish contacted us, I was eager to discover the man and his work. We immediately got along super well, and I loved some of the ideas he pitched us. The rest is history. * Apical Reform is headquartered in India - what made you choose them for this collaboration?
I have always had an important attachment to cultural India. My mother was Indian and my father Swiss. Even though I was brought up in Switzerland very much like a little Swiss kid, I was aware I was different (especially 50 years ago!). My artistic side is most probably the Indian one whilst my pragmatic one is clearly Swiss.
* According to you, what are the similarities between digital art and mechanical art?
The biggest difference between mechanical or kinetic art and the rest of art forms is the humongous talent one needs to engineer and craft a piece. In much of contemporary art today, the idea makes for 90 per cent of the value, while the work involved in creating it is barely
10 per cent. With mechanical art, the insane work and artisanship needed is more than 70 per cent of the value.
Amrish Patel, Founder and Principal, Apical Reform, speaks to Time Out
* What is the inspiration behind the name ‘Apical Reform’?
We see design as a tool for societal change. We understand the power of design in building communities, bringing people and thought together and mobilising them for common good.
We want the reform that design brings about to be of the highest order: thus, Apical Reform. As you can see, we are already delivering on our name, having previously focused on humanity and community at Design Days Dubai 2017 (Sonuslexica) and Global Warming for Dubai Design Week 2017 (State of Earth).
* Can you tell us why you chose to collaborate with MB&F M.A.D. Gallery?
Since childhood, I have been fascinated by moving objects and that fascination grew into an appreciation of horology and kinetic DESIGN. I WAS iRST INTRODUCED TO MB& FM. A. D. Gallery’ s mechanical and kinetic art at Design Days Dubai 2016 and since then have followed their work closely and always dreamt of a collaboration with MB&F.
Finally, an introduction to Max led to many conversations and we agreed to collaborate. Working together on this collection with MB&F M.A.D. Gallery has been the most amazing and challenging experience.
Leyla U lu han li, Interior Designer and Author of ‘Mosques: Splendors of Islam’, speaks to Time Out
* Why does Art Deco and Midcentury American aesthetics inspire you?
I believe that Mid-century was in many ways the greatest era for design and architecture. A huge cultural shift was accompanied by quick developments in materials and technology.
Never before did designers enjoy such amazing creative freedom, and entire new branches of design and architecture were shaped by my personal design heroes – Gio Ponti, William Haines, Edward Wormley, to name a few. So I often come back to those motifs for inspiration.
* WILL YOU DEiNE YOUR STYLE AS minimal and understated?
I often refer to my style as contemporary classic, meaning that I try to reimagine many of the classical motifs and shapes in a more modern, reserved way. In that way, my furniture and interiors can be considered understated. But they are hardly minimal.
While I strive to keep the form of my pieces simple, I employ a lot of intricate details, ranging from using incredibly rare luxurious materials to adding subtle decorative elements that underline the complexity of the pieces.
* In ‘Mosques: Splendors of Islam’ you don’t seem to have touched on contemporary mosques of Europe. Why?
IT’S TRUE THAT WE’VE ONLY BRIElY touched upon some of the more modern mosques from Europe, like the Islamic Community Center and Mosque in Copenhagen or the MAGNIiCENT SANCAKLAR MOSQUE IN Istanbul.
But we had some very tough decisions to make when working on this book. We had to limit the number of mosques mentioned to about 50 – and we’ve started with hundreds of them.
So, in this book, we concentrated on beautiful examples of mostly historic Islamic architecture, showing the long and winding road the mosques made through the centuries.
* What links you as an Interior Designer and an Author?
Both these parts of my life are tightly interwoven. As a designer, I often draw inspiration from the amazing architecture and interior of the mosques I’ve studied while working on my book.
Their intricate décor, the amazing effects created using such a limited palette ornaments and colours push me towards being a more masterful designer. On the other hand, I might have never come about to writing the book if it wasn’t for my background as a designer.
Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque — image from ‘Mosques: Splendors of Islam’.
Mosques: Splendors of Islam, book cover.