Chelsea Space: Shin Azumi and Norman McLaren / Interview with Curator Jane Won

The current exhibition (May 16 – June 16, 2007) at Chelsea Space explores the intriguing associations between the work of Scottish-Canadian animator Norman McLaren (1914-1987) and British-based Japanese designer Shin Azumi (born 1965). The exhibition has been curated by Jane Won, who gives us an introduction to the exhibition. Chelsea space, London, May 16, 2007.

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Norman McLaren is one of the most respected animators / filmmakers in the history of experimental cinema. He used film to record images, but also as a canvas, experimenting with etching, drawing and painting directly on filmstrip. He created an impressive body of work at the National Film Board of Canada (NFB) and received numerous awards, including an Oscar for “Neighbours” (1952) and a Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival for “Blinkity Blank” (1955). For Azumi, Norman McLaren is one of the few artists to have achieved a balance in creating entertaining work that is also experimental and conceptual.

Shin Azumi was born and raised in Japan. He studied at the Royal College of Art in the UK, and in the mid-1990s set up a London studio with his associate Tomoko Azumi. In 2005 Shin Azumi set up a new solo practice, “a studio”. His works are widely recognized in Europe and have been exhibited in such prestigious venues as the Design Museum in the UK, the Vitra Design Museum in Germany and the Stedelijk Museum in the Netherlands.

Azumi’s “FlowLounge” (2006) is a new series of office furniture shown at Chelsea space for the first time in Europe. Its inspiration derives from the garden, conceptually bringing the outside into an interior space, creating a flexible and light atmosphere. “Shower of Light” (2006) also plays with our imagination and encourages a unique spatial experience. Azumi’s designs, together with McLaren’s films, transform Chelsea space into a fluid space of outside, inside, up and down.

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