Eleven years and 4800 miles apart, Jurgen Bey’s Treetrunk Bench and High Table have welcomed us to sit a while and remember where we come from and where we are going. Trees have that enduring quality about them. From a wedding reception in 2008 at the Pinakothek der Moderne in Munich, Germany to Atlanta’s High Museum in 2019 these spaces of respite and conversation have come a long way. With a mind to the ubiquitous nature of the fallen tree, Bey actually only sells the chair backs and table tops. The tree trunks are locally sourced. It’s an apt reminder that we bring to any artwork our own sensibilities and interpretations. The canvas (or log) is as much a reflection of the recipient’s creative energy and potential as it is of the artist’s vision and message. It’s the dialogue that keeps art and all of us alive.
“I don’t know what just happened.” That was Bearskis‘ reaction when Project Art Lounge introduced them to Design Festa vol. 40 at Tokyo Big Sight on November 8th. Understandable. Sprawling over two floors of Tokyo’s largest international and futuristic exhibition center, Design Festa brings together a wild and crazy assortment of creative characters. Artists, designers and performers of all types present their paintings, photographs, toys, clothes, masks, bags and all sorts of other things. Visitors, too, get into the act, many complete with outfits and costumes to emote their favorite meme. Coming on the heels of Halloween, vol. 40 was like a art fair dress-up party or Harajuku on steroids with a punk band playing on the outdoor parking lot. Design Festa cannot be compared to other contemporary art fairs, but careful observers will discover some talented young creators. The interesting thing about this fair: anything goes. First timers may be surprised and a little overwhelmed, but it’s definitely a trip worth taking. Welcome to Tokyo everybody.