The “Air Shape Design” exhibition reviews the history of the fan from tradition to the present day. Twenty professionals reinvent this icon.
Today, the collective exhibition on the alliance of design and craftsmanship is open to the public through one of the Valencian reference pieces, the fan. The Designing the air exhibition, curated by designer Vicent Martínez, will be presented at the González Martí National Museum of Ceramics and Sumptuary Arts, showing how the culture of the fan world can be enriched and, in this sense, repositioned and projected into the future.
“Designing the air”, open to the public until July 3rd, revisits the history of the Valencian fan on a journey that goes from tradition to the present day and in which twenty design professionals from different parts of the world will take part, representing this iconic Reinventing object in shapes, textures and technology.
The fan is a traditional piece in Valencian object memory. “Designing the air” shows that the humanistic alliance and the dialogue between design, technology and craftsmanship can enrich the culture of the fan world and, in this sense, project into the future.
tradition and innovation
The exhibition brings together traditional materials such as mother-of-pearl, made by artisans from the only workshop in Europe that currently produces it, as well as other slabs made with lasers of minimal thickness, fans with fabrics and wood digitally printed with innovative technologies or bookbinding, the fans make you like books.
“Designing the air” is a collaborative project of twenty design professionals from different parts of the world: Ángel Blay Villa, Antonio Serrano, Arnau & Reyna, Carlos Tíscar, Eli Gutiérrez, Inma Bermúdez, Luisa Bocchietto, María Arroyo, Nani Marquina, Nieves Contreras, Pepe Gimeno, Ramón Úbeda and Pepa Reverter, Ricard Ferrer, Sohei Arao & Sumiko Arao, Terence Woodgate, Vicent Martínez and Yukari Taki.
All of them – under the curatorship and edition of Vicent Martínez and with the participation of the craftsman Ángel Blay in the creation of the pieces – redesign the traditional Valencian fan in forms, textures and technology, showing how the connection between design and heritage can favor the reinvention of the most classic traditional elements of a culture.
“We want this fan to pay homage to the artisans who kept this profession alive.”
Inma Bermúdez’s proposal, christened Nácar, aims to pay homage, through synthetic and refined shapes, to the artisans who have kept this profession alive. Bermúdez explains that his goal is that “mother of pearl is the protagonist because I understood that it must be appreciated”. At the same time, he states that “on a formal level, it is very simple and devoid of any embellishments”.
Designer Nani Marquina explains that making this fan was not easy: “When I thought of air, I thought I could give air to the fan myself”. The result is a compliment to the instrument created, which seeks to satisfy such a basic need as giving air. To do this, he bought many fans, disassembled them and began to work intuitively until he reached the final result.
Luisa Bochietto was very involved in the organization of Valencia Design Capital 2022 and for this reason she decided to be inspired by her logo to create her fan proposal. has insured graphic that «I really like the logo because it moves and changes and adapts and my goal was to relate the movement of the logo to the movement of the fan».
For his part, Carlos Tiscar explains that his project is based on renunciation: «I knew from the beginning that the fan, as a functional object, could not be improved, so I looked for an alibi to justify it». The result was a minimal and cheap fan using just two sticks and a stretched fabric that worked with analogies such as the hanging hammock, the kite and eventually the lateen sail.
«In the end I understood that I had to make a much less complex and cheaper fan to manufacture».
“I was inspired by the classic fans that have long been made from feathers in different cultures,” explains Nieves Contreras. The fan is called Nao and uses the peacock feather as a reference in both the colors and the shape of the fan opening.
Yukari Taki wanted to create a fan that would create a tickling sensation. She also used mother-of-pearl to construct the fan, explaining that this product “fell a bit far from modern life”. He also explains that he has tried to merge the traditional with the modern and in a way the western with the eastern.
«Since I’ve been a graphic designer, I’ve used techniques like transparency and stamping to make the scales and capture the reflection of the sea».
María Arroyo’s fan is called Daga and pretends to be an instrument of claim: «I was very fascinated by the fact that the way it is used can acquire one meaning or another». In this sense, his ability to transmit secrets, emotions or desires caught his attention and for this reason he decided to depict her as a weapon that closes like a knife.
Pepe Gimeno explains that his fan Al Vent It is inspired by the morphology of a book: “From this it borrows the binding of a book spine, to ensure that its folds open with the same ordered cadence as its pages”. Gimeno explains that both objects act in unison: “From their sides or folds, they provoke or seduce us, enlivening our minds and our senses”.
It is a València World Design Capital 2022 project supported by the Diputació de València and València Turisme.