The exposition Slingerland@wOrk features the latest work from the designer Olav Slingerland (b. 1969). This Dutch artist has built up an impressive oeuvre in ceramic design. His success began in 1993 with the little vase ‘Piso’, and a long series of designs – some in commission – followed. Recently he has broadened his work terrain to include China, where he has become acquainted with porcelain.
In 2012 Olav Slingerland was in Sanbao/Jingdezhen, China, as artist in residence at the invitation of Terra Delft Gallery (see also the catalogue Terra in China – China in Terra). During this period of work, the Dutch designer experienced first-hand the differences in materials, techniques and cultures.
An important aspect of the Chinese culture is food. In restaurants, people eat at round tables with a ‘lazy Susan’ wheel plateau in the middle, full of little bowls for all of the different dishes. This was a source of inspiration for Olav. His wall piece ‘Big Circle’ is a vertical circle consisting of 32 separate elements which together form one whole. The clear colors in shiny glazes make the work impressive and forceful. The functional bowl object ‘Oval’ originates from this: nine bowls form together one object which shows, in perspective, the round wheel plateau from the Chinese dinner table.
The Chinese prefer not to eat alone, and Slingerland expresses the interplay between individuality and social interaction in the object ‘China Box’, a lidded box emerging from the gesture of two folded hands, and in the object ‘Duo Block’, originating in the gesture of two extended hands. Slingerland’s work looks typically Dutch, with clear design lines and vivid colors. Because the work is poured into molds, it is good value for money: affordable, contemporary design which is often functional as well.
In 2013, with the help of Terra Delft Gallery, Olav Slingerland was invited by the Chinese designer Zhu Xiaojie to work in his porcelain studio in Wenzhou, China. During this period Olav worked with Chinese assistants and learned about the special characteristics of porcelain. Xiaojie and Olav decided together to create a brand of designs realized in porcelain, designs which reflect the cross-fertilization of two cultures, a meeting of East and West. The name for this new brand is wOrk.
The first presentation of the products of wOrk was during the Beijing Design Week 2014 in the Beijing Today Art Museum; subsequently the work could be seen at the Dutch Design Week 2014 in Eindhoven, NL.