Vitra chairs find a seat in Seoul
Along with the chairs, displayed in chronological order on the museum’s first floor, there are also portraits of celebrities such as Andy Warhol, Jean-Luc Godard, Audrey Hepburn and even Seoul Mayor Lee Myung-bak, posed on or with the chairs.
While viewing, avid collectors might notice striking similarities in concepts, production methods and materials between two chairs: the curvy “Armchair” (1930-31) by Alvar Aalto and the chaise lounge “Isokon” (1933-34) by Marcel Breuer.? Both designers knew how to turn a block of hard wood into pliable pulp that could be curved like a sheet of paper. ?“You see, they were friends in those days and so influenced each other,” Mr. von Vegesack commented.
When asked about rampant abuse of design copyrights in Asia, Mr. von Vegesack said that if innovative ideas are not protected, the industry’s development will stagnate.? Then companies and manufacturers will face the same problem, he said, that once having developed by copying others’ designs, their own new designs would ironically also be copied.
Other than Japan, where the Vitra Museum first toured more than 15 years ago, this is the first place in Asia the exhibition has been displayed. Its next stop is a return to North America, followed by Europe and South America.
by Ines Cho
The exhibition “100 Years, 100 Chairs” runs until April 30. The Seoul Museum of Art is open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. (7 p.m. on weekends) daily, but is closed on Mondays. Admission is 6,000 won ($6) for adults, 3,000 won for students and 1,500 won for children. The museum is located near City Hall, downtown Seoul.? For more information, call (02) 2124-8000 or visit the Web site, www.seoulmoa.org.
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