VIVID centre for design presents:

Wieki Somers

27 November 2005 – 15 January 2006

Wieki Somers belongs to the second generation of Dutch designers who have gained international recognition for their products. Whereas Dutch design for many years was focussed primarily on the power of concepts, this generation is at least aware of the necessity and importance of aesthetics as well. VIVID therefor gladly shows a first overview of Somers’ work.
In the VIVID exhibition space Somers shows not only the products and objects she designed in these past years, the visitor is drawn into a total experience, designed by the designer. For the time being the space is transformed into a neutral living-room, who could be anyone's, with windows overlooking an illusory outside world. This living-room seems to be under construction. Almost all furniture items are covered with a white veil, except for the products of Somers which can be viewed unveiled. The visitor can imagine himself to be a guest in a living-room like the one he has at home, while slowly discovering the dreamworld of Somers. Because a living-room is not only the special domain for objects but also the center for social encounters, the guests are also welcomed during some special events. In december Santaclaus will bring surprising presents and by the end of the year an unconventional Christmas meal will be served (by Proef).

Wieki Somers’ work is characterized by an obvious love for material and context. Usually she starts with crystal clear concepts but in the execution of her ideas she is not easily satisfied. Each one of her products testifies of a time- and labour consuming production-process. Whether the medium is an old craft like ceramics and glassblowing or a high tech modern technique, Somers explores the boundaries and exploits all possibilities to the fullest. Function, content and a love for materials are strongly related. Clear ideas have bonded with fragile aesthetics. “People demonstrate their character in dealing with the objects that surround them on a daily basis. Likewise materials show their beauty when confronted with water, air and fire; the soap-bells, the heat of the glass, the solidified foam, the memory of the metal and transparency of the porcelain.”
On each level stories and meanings are important, but never as a final truth. As stories might have open endings, Somers offers the users of her products a freedom to finish the stories she has started. In this process the individual experience of the user is most important, as not only her products illustrate but also the whole installation in VIVID. “Within the abundance of consumer items, I hope this selection products is worthwhile to be cherished by the users and will challenge their imagination. What I rather do, is dreaming about the things around me, what they are and what they might be. I translate my ideas into daily, functional objects and thereby try to make people aware of their surroundings.”

Text: Louise Schouwenberg

with support of 'Dienst Kunst & Cultuur Rotterdam'