Nature rarely does flat, as any mirror (sadly) reveals. And folds have found their way into various aspects of design. An intriguing topic, then, for an exhibition…
- FOLDS takes place in the MAK museum
- Features around 90 objects
- Tackles folds from various perspectives
- …from scarfs to origami aliens
- Includes contemporary art pieces
- Runs Feb 1 to May 21, 2023
- See also:
Wrinkles and folds, oh my!
(Two six-part screens (pair) with a depiction of the “Stories of the Heike,” 1501–1550, India ink, paints, and gold on paper; press photo © MAK/Georg Mayer)
Ah, the incessant tick of the clock that marks the passing of time and lives. But who needs seconds, minutes and hours when you can measure life’s rollercoaster in the folds of your face? (Hollywood uses the wrinkles around my eyes as a model for CGI river canyons.)
Wrinkles and folds…not the rather promising title of an autobiography, but the theme of the small, yet intriguing, FOLDS exhibition at the MAK museum.
The one-room presentation covers the concept from different perspectives by way of around 90 objects.
We see, for example, the use of folds in various materials for form, function, fashion and aesthetics. From 13th-century folding chairs through 16th-century painted screens to the contemporary textile art revealed in gorgeous scarf designs by Sudō Reiko and Ursi Fürtler.
We also see folds as part of the development and unique signature of the human body.
(Exhibition view of FOLDS at the MAK, 2023, in the central room of the MAK Design Lab; press photo © MAK/Georg Mayer)
Your view of folds in this more natural context depends, of course, very much on your perceptions, as driven by culture, age, gender and other factors.
(One person’s mark of wisdom is another’s botox trigger.)
And we experience interpretations of the human-life-nature-fold complex by contemporary artists.
Examples include Aika Furukawa’s flowing ink and oil paintings Lost Colours – 02 and Configuration – 30.8. Or Song Jing’s revealing Venus from Vienna photographs (no spoilers from me: see for yourself).
The display texts (in German and English) add historical, cultural and philosophical context to the items in an exhibition where a movie poster of Gollum can feature alongside a sumo wrestler’s handprint and pleated skirts of the Miao people.
(A personal highlight was the paper model of H.R. Giger’s Alien creation by the origami artist Shatner Nishida.)
Dates, tickets & tips
Explore the folds of life, art, design and more from February 1st to May 21st, 2023. An entrance ticket from or for the MAK includes access to the special exhibitions.
Many of the items within draw on the MAK’s Asia Collection (whose curator, Mio Wakita-Elis, also curated FOLDS). The permanent exhibition of Asian exhibits has a rather lovely display environment worth seeking out.
Another fascinating (and much larger) themed exhibition at the MAK across much of the same period is THE FEST, which explores various design aspects around the act of celebration in its widest sense…from baroque tableware to shorts by Helmut Lang.
How to get to FOLDS
Follow the travel tips at the bottom of the MAK page. Go down to the Design Lab level and the exhibition room faces the stairs.
Address: Stubenring 5, 1010 Vienna