JUNE 5, 2011
|Wong's Ballistic Roses|
The controversial and brilliant young designer, Tobias Wong created works that challenged and stimulated the minds of those who interacted with it. The pieces have a beauty in their direct simplicity, in their twisting of the expected into something provocative, in the messages and meanings he conveyed by his choice of materials and context.
|Designer Tobias Wong|
A perfect example of his elegant wit and vision lies in the design below; an engagement ring with the pointed end of the diamond facing outwards. In twisting our expectations in such a simple, yet transformative manner, Wong expressed volumes of meaning with a simple dot of punctuation.
|Killer Diamond Engagement Ring by Tobias Wong|
In Bullet Poof Quilted Duvet (below) Wong's use of ballistic fabric in an otherwise normal bed covering allows us to re-evaluate our ideas of physical and emotional comfort and protection. Similarly, the material transforms the message in Wong's Kevlar roses (shown at the top of this post.)
|Tobias Wong, , 2004, ballistic nylon, cotton, and cotton flannel; Collection SFMOMA, gift of Josee Lepage; © Estate of Tobias Wong; photo: courtesy SFMOMA|
Context was manipulated brilliantly by Wong as well. In "Indulgences", a project he collaborated on with Ken Courtney, founder of Ju$t Another Rich Kid the iconic items below were cast in gold. Without context, the items below are just golden replicas of mass produced items from the 1960-1980's. Factoring in their cultural relevance reveals complex and potent messages.
When Wong took his own life in 2010, the world lost a wonderfully creative mind and a future of clever and compelling work. Using one die for each day of Tobias Wong's life to create a portrait of the designer, Frederick McSwain used Wong's own kind of clever manipulation of meaning, materials, and context to make a meaningful, moving and thought provoking memorial for his friend.
"DIE" Frederick McSwain Installation Time Lapse from stephen dirkes on Vimeo.
A time lapse film by Stephen Dirkes for core77 of Frederick McSwain's, "DIE" installation at Gallery R Pure "Broken Off Broken Off" group show in memorium to Tobias Wong for NY Design Week 2011. Music by Twi the Humble Feather.
obscure object films
|The finished portrait|
|A closer look at the dice making up Wong's portrait|