Alamak!

10 Nov 2016 — 19 Jan 2017 at the Alamak project in Berlin, Germany

15 DECEMBER 2016
Alamak! Exhibition view. Courtesy of Alamak! Gallery
Alamak! Exhibition view. Courtesy of Alamak! Gallery

Following its inaugural exhibition at La Triennale di Milano in April 2016, alamak! is pleased to present the next stage in its evolution, the alamak! Gallery, on view at Strausberger Platz 3, 10243, Berlin, from November 10, 2016- January 19, 2017.

The alamak! Gallery exhibition explores Asia as a driving force of the next art and design movement by bringing together 10 prominent artists and designers to present unique works and editions to be examined in a gallery setting. Curated by Yoichi Nakamuta, who has been the driving force behind some of the most important design initiatives in the region, the exhibition presents a collective of artists and designers, known for their strenuous originality, to illustrate the remarkable stirrings in the creative realm in Asia.

Taking its name from the word ‘alamak’, a common expression to state surprise in daily conversations throughout South East Asia and Japan, the project has been created with the intention to provoke surprise. The exhibition will showcase the breadth and quality of local Asian artisan industries, the continent’s rich material resources, the abundance of technical knowhow, and the sophisticated production processes.

Illustrated at one end of the spectrum by the Bori Throne by Gunjan Gupta, where a sculptural stack of 5 boris (jute sacks), which normally serve as storage bags for a variety of Indian produce, are re-appropriated and hand upholstered as backrests, along with reclaimed bicycle seats. At the other end, Yuri Suzuki’s Qu’est-ce Que C’est Boombox, borrows symbols from African American and Hispanic urban youth cultures and blends them with modern state of art acoustic technologies to create covetable high fidelity.

With many of the featured artists and designers now returning from the West with a fresh vision, the project explores how their heritage has informed the creation of a brand new identity for themselves.

The writer Stefano Casciani, Compasso d’Oro award winner and former editor of Domus, says of these designers “Unlike their predecessors, the designers exhibiting at alamak!, seem to pursue this path of conceptual design quite naturally, without particularly wanting to provoke the observer because they actually don’t find anything scandalous about pushing the design of objects more towards aesthetics than towards functionality.” Such is the ambiguity of Anon Pairot’s ‘Ordinarian’ Tank, which elevates the purely functional ubiquitous 'jerry can' into an objets d’art, and presents it as a shiny luxurious, pop art inspired seat.

Following on from Berlin, alamak! will continue on its journey around the world with exhibitions planned in New York and Basel in 2017.