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The value of good design lies beyond just its functionality

After visiting both the Peranakan Museum and the "Serenity In Stone: The Qingzhou Discovery" exhibit, we had to visit the Singapore National Museum! Which in many ways I was glad, as I had the chance to explore Come-in, an international traveling exhibit from Germany's Institute for Foreign Cultural Relations.

Where does "design" end and "art" begin? What connects the two? When are they mutually exclusive? What makes an object of classic design become an object of contemporary art?

The artists in Come-in are posed these questions and they attempt to find answers through their varied responses. They approach the designs of furniture, ceramics, textiles, interior architecture, and publishing from a contemporary art perspective. Towards this end, they adopt a range of media including drawings, installations and sculptures to models, photography and videography.

The 27 German artists featured in this exhibit were all born in the 1960s and early 1970s and challenge the perceptions of contemporary culture in relation to the field of design. One must read-between-the-lines. The results are unusual, enigmatic and full of irony, always challenging and inspiring both as art and design.

Hans Hemmert, Untitled (up and about), 1996
Famous for his pictures and artwork where he wraps up huge objects with a bright yellow latex balloon

Dorothee Golz's Reception Room 1998/2001. Notice how the chairs are cut into halves

Dorothee Golz's Reception Room 1998/2001. Objects of everyday use and domestic furniture experience metamorphosis

Claus Föttinger, Hermann's Döner Inn, 2000

Björn Dahlem's Club Betaflor, 2000. Influenced by a flower shop of the same name, Dahlem explores futuristic spaces

Set by Andree Korpys and Markus Löffler 2001
Based on photographs by the Bundeskriminalamt (BKA, Federal Office of Criminal Investigation), the artists reconstructed part of a conspirative flat of the Rote Armee Fraktion (RAF, Red Army Faction). The work generates a sense of unease in the psyche of the visitor and provokes the disturbing question of the nature of the aesthetics at the background of destruction and violence

Johannes Spehr's Untitled (cubicle/lookout), 2000
One of my fav exhibit. In a small cell made out of cardboard are drawings of everyday life... just naked... Two slits allow outsiders to have a peek in. What will they see?

Detailed drawing of Johannes Spehr's Untitled (cubicle/lookout), 2000

Silke Schatz's Window: new housing estate Ahnsbeck, Kitchen corridor verandah in the evening, 2000

Close up of Silke Schatz's Window, 2000

Christian Flamm's 'nothing at all is good', 2000. The flatness presented reflects Flamm's concern that computers are altering human perception and social interaction. Contemporary society to the artist is two dimensional and wants to reinvest it with personal attitude

Tobias & Raphael Danke's Aachen Model, 2000
An Alice-in-Wonderland experience of a world turned upside down, is based upon memories of the artists' childhood home. The boards are seen as pictures, the pieces of furniture as pedestals, the art as decoration and vice versa

Tobias & Raphael Danke's Aachen Model, 2000

More Come-in: Interior Design as a Contemporary Art Pictures


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