Roche Bobois’s Iconic Mah Jong Cushions Transformed for Canada 150 Art Project
Please don’t sit on these artists’ creations.
Art Toronto has teamed up with furniture designer Roche Bobois to create a special exhibition as part of the Canada 150 Art Project, enlisting five Canadian artists to produce unique pieces by applying their own style to the classic Mah Jong cushion.
Similar projects have been executed in Mexico City and Miami, Florida, with local artists being called upon to take specific pieces of Roche Bobois furniture and transform them to reflect the style or artistry of the region.
Yesterday evening, Roche Bobois’s newly renovated Vancouver storefront had the pleasure of hosting four of the Mah Jong cushions before they travel to Toronto, where they will eventually be auctioned off with proceeds going to support the Canadian Art Foundation.
Each piece was given its own spot amongst the showroom’s purchasable items, transforming the space into a gallery for one night. Ron Moppett’s GHOST/FLOW (above) played with multiple reflective surfaces and required viewers get close to see the hidden spectre under the wooden chair atop his work.
At just under one metre square, the pieces certainly command attention, while still blending in nicely with the home decor items present in the showroom. Artists were free to use the media they are most comfortable with while transforming Hans Hopfer’s original design. Philippe Caron Lefebvre’s Rencontre imprévisible au paradis du plâtre (above) incorporated plaster and other items to create a tribute to dystopian science fiction, while ever so slightly reminiscing a cake.
Karen Kraven’s Filet (above) playfully envisioned the Mah Jong cushion much like a traditional French market bag used to carry the day’s fresh bread, while Patrick Cruz’s Step Mother Tongue (below) incorporated symbols inspired by early cave drawings and alchemical symbols combined with street graffiti to embellish his submission.
For more information about the Canada 150 Art Project exhibit, visit www.arttoronto.ca.