Commissioned Installation

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Marcel Wanders

The Eurasian Garden Spirits
Marcel Wanders  Eurasian Garden Spirits 2015
Marcel Wanders Eurasian Garden Spirits 2015

'The Eurasian Garden Spirits' is a site-specific installation by Marcel Wanders for the Oita Prefecture Museum in Kyushu, a building due to open in 2015.
Inspired by the historical narrative of Dutch explorers first arriving in Japan in the 16th century, this artwork symbolizes the cultural union and exchange between Holland and Japan.

Placed five meters high, balloons are rooted by weights and gently move with the wind. Each balloon depicts a unique flower patterned face.

'The Eurasian Garden Spirits' is also a contemporary re-interpretation of vanitas, a 17th century conception in Dutch painting that gained world-wide renown. The subject of mortality is present in the faces, while the flowers remind us of nature's cycle and the passage of time.

Inflated with air, the balloons are both an homage to
the free spirits of the original travelers brought back to life, and to Dutch ideas spreading throughout the world.

The air and wind depict breathing to evoke liveliness, an "open-minded" attitude at the core of Dutch mentality, as well as a new reading of the colonial age, as a two-way permeable cultural exchange.

Marcel Wanders, 2015

Courtesy of Marcel Wanders Courtesy of Marcel Wanders
Courtesy of Marcel Wanders Courtesy of Marcel Wanders
Marcel Wanders

Amsterdam-based Marcel Wanders (Boxtel, Netherlands, 1963) is a prolific product and interior designer and art director, with over 1700 projects to his name for private clients and premium brands such as Alessi, Bisazza, Kosé Corporation/Cosme Decorte, KLM, Flos, Swarovski, and Puma, among scores of others. Marcel’s chief concern is bringing the human touch back to design, ushering in what he calls design’s ‘new age;’ in which designers, craftspeople and users are reunited. In Marcel’s universe, the coldness of industrialism is replaced instead by the poetry, fantasy and romance of different ages, vividly brought to life in the contemporary moment.