Takeout Containers and Worn Sketchbooks by Artist Yoonmi Nam Explore the Permanence of Everyday Disposables
A kitchen table, countertop, or cluttered desk are all likely spots to encounter a piece by South Korean artist Yoonmi Nam. Encompassing ceramic sculptures and sparse lithographs, Nam’s body of work evokes “an ever-present, yet always changing still life,” one that displays the ubiquitous objects of her everyday in more permanent forms. A deep well to hold a bouquet carves out a stack of porcelain take-out containers, minimal prints depict a leafy branch resting in a fast-food cup, and splayed sketchbooks are covered with graph paper-style inlays that appear punctured, leaving frayed ends and stray lines.
Nam’s subject matter, whether a disposable container or notebook with a cracked cover, always has a limited lifespan, a recurring theme that tethers each of the works to questions about ephemerality and value. The artist elaborates in a statement:
I am drawn to man-made spaces and objects that we surround ourselves with, especially when they subtly suggest a contradicting sense of time that seems both temporary and lasting. In the arranged flower imagery, the flowers, once cut from their roots, have only a short remaining time to live. They will quickly wither and die, but before they do, they are elegantly and elaborately arranged, as if time will stand still for them. The containers that hold them are disposable objects, such as a yogurt cup, a Styrofoam take-out box, and an instant noodle bowl. These throwaway objects and cut flowers engage in a dialogue that speaks about impermanence and persistence.
Nam has a few ceramic pieces and lithographs available from Paradigm Gallery in Philadelphia, and some of her new delivery box-inspired sculptures are on view as part of 2021 Kansas City Flatfile + Digitalfile, which runs through October 14 at the Kansas City Art Institute. You also can explore a larger selection of her works on Instagram.
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Part sustainable design and part ode to Sicilian food culture, a new product by a Milan-based startup transforms inedible food waste into a functional homeware. Krill Design’s “Ohmie” is a compostable lamp made from the peels of two to three oranges sourced from the Messina province that are dried, ground into a powder, and added to a biopolymeric vegetable starch base. That combined material is molded into pellets used in a 3D printing process that layers the vibrant matter into a textured shade and base. Because of its organic origins, the minimal, leather-like lamp varies slightly in color as it ages and even maintains its signature citrusy scent.
“Ohmie” isn’t Krill Design’s first product that relies on a circular economy model: previous initiatives involve recycled plastics and coffee scraps that undergo a similar process before they’re molded into office furniture and other consumer goods. The orange lamp already met its goal on Kickstarter, but you’ve got about two weeks left to back the project. You also might enjoy this juice machine that creates bioplastic cups. (via Dezeen)
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'Fake Food, Real Garbage': A Satirical Store is Fully Stocked with Groceries Made Entirely of Plastic
Wander into a new pop-up grocery store in Downtown Los Angeles, and you’ll find all of the typical options with an unusual twist: freezers stocked with tubs of “Bag & Jerry’s,” a robust produce section with bananas and tomatoes printed with advertisements, and mysteriously gray “polluted sausage” stuck to styrofoam trays.
Dubbed “The Plastic Bag Store,” the witty and satirical installation is the project of Robin Frohardt, who repurposed scores of bottle caps, packaging, and other single-use materials into a full-fledged grocery. Each of the non-edible items—many of which have undergone clever rebrands, meaning you’ll find family-sized boxes of Yucky Shards cereal, cases of Bagorade bottles, and clamshells of Earthbag Farms non-organic spring mix in the aisles—is made entirely with discarded waste that the Brooklyn-based artist, puppet-maker, and designer collected from garbage bins and trash sites.
Paired with a performative component that envisions how future generations will interpret the inordinate amount of waste produced in today’s world, the installation literally displays the longevity of the items many of us use on a daily basis. According to recent estimations, the amount of plastic in the ocean is predicted to exceed the volume of fish by 2050, an ongoing crisis Frohardt wants to make more apparent. “’The Plastic Bag Store’ is a visually rich and humorous experience that hopefully encourages a different way of thinking about the foreverness of plastic, the permanence of the disposable and that there is no ‘away’ when we throw something out,” she says.
The grocery, which debuted in Times Square last fall with the tagline “Fake Food, Real Garbage,” is open at UCLA’s Center for the Art of Performance through July 11. You can find more of Frohardt’s projects, many of which critique mass consumerism and capitalism through a humorous lens, on her site and Instagram. (via Hyperallergic)
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Coinciding with the European Union’s ban on plastic cutlery slated for July 3, two industrial designers decided to combine their collections for a broad study of the ubiquitous utensil. The ongoing project of Peter Eckart and Kai Linke, Spoon Archaeology is an expansive display of approximately 1,400 pieces of disposable flatware that the pair amassed throughout two decades. Containing typical cutlery and more niche tools like ice cream tasters and cocktail forks, the archive is arranged by color, shape, and purpose in glass cases reminiscent of anthropological studies, relegating the once-commonplace objects to the realm of outdated curiosity.
At once a playful rainbow display of unique design objects and critical indictment of consumerism, Spoon Archaeology, which closed this weekend at the London Design Biennale, is a testament to the pervasiveness of plastics in contemporary society. The designers hope the scope of the collection prompts questions about the impact of single-use items on the environment. “As disposable products, they are mass-produced, cheap, easy to transport, and can be disposed of just as easily as they have been used. Ultimately, they are a symbol of our globalized logistics and throwaway culture,” Eckart told It’s Nice That, noting that the exhibition also marks a larger change in “significant factors in our table and dining culture as well as in the history of technology.”
To make the archive more accessible, Eckart and Linke started an Instagram account dedicated to Spoon Archaeology, where they plan to share more images from the collection in addition to news about where it’s headed next. They also created a color-coded print shown below that lays out a portion of their lot, which you can purchase via email or download for free here. (via Core 77)
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Toronto-based animator Kevin Parry peels back the layers of kiwi, mangoes, and other tropical fruits to unveil their colorful, fleshy insides from skin to core. Paired with a satisfying track of succulent, cracking sounds, the timelapse cycles through even, cross-section cuts that presents the juicy fare in a rhythmic progression. “Hidden Patterns Inside Tropical Fruit” also includes a making-of segment that shows how Parry painstakingly slices each layer with a standard sharp kitchen knife.
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Each year Nucleus Portland tasks hundreds of artists with creating original works on a miniature canvas usually reserved for dewy beverages. Salut! harnesses the friendly camaraderie associated with the word and gathers more than 1,000 coasters illustrated in an expansive variety of styles, including minimal color-blocked toucans, trippy starscapes, and dreamy, candid portraits. See some of Colossal’s favorite 4×4-inch pieces below, and browse the entire exhibition and available works, which are up online and in-person through July 5, on Nucelus’s site.
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Editor's Picks: Food
Highlights below. For the full collection click here.