76 | Studio Wieki Somers - « mitate »

76 | Studio Wieki Somers - « mitate »

FROM 7 June TO 21 September 2013
OPENING 7 June 2013

Pictures from this exhibition


The new lighting collection of Studio Wieki Somers (Rotterdam) brings the pleasure of its evidence and oddity. As we move closer to the collection, the glowing figures become familiar – a familiarity in which we recognize the other. This sensation is not conjured by our everyday lives or background, but by our imagination and fascination for the otherness of a foreign culture, which seduces us as well as subdues our judgment. It is not the easiest form of seduction.

Larger than us, the seven floor lamps united under the name “mitate” fill and protect the gallery space, acting as flamboyant samurais. In Japanese, “mitate” signifies the perception of an object in a non-habitual way, to contemplate an object as if it were something else in order to renew its meaning and experience.

An essential part of Japanese culture, the “mitate” principal was a cornerstone of ikebana art. In Western culture, Alfred Stieglitz taught us how to look at clouds with his photographic series Equivalents (1922–1935). Equally, Robert Fillou (known for his travels in Japan) stated, “Whatever you think, think about something else. Whatever you do, do something else.” It is tempting to add in this context: “Whatever you design, design something else.” Since 2003,