Exhibition displays work by 2 skilled artisans

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Exhibition displays work by 2 skilled artisans


Works by two artisans who have made distinct marks on the design esthetic of the 20th century are on display at the Kukje Gallery. George Nakashima’s woodcraft and lighting fixtures by Serge Mouille stand next to each other in the gallery’s exhibition halls until May 18.
Japanese-American George Nakashima was born in Spokane, Washington and earned a master’s in architecture in 1930 from Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Upon graduation, he lived in France for a year, then traveled to North Africa and Japan. He got his first big break as a craftsman while in Japan, when he started working for Antonin Raymond, a distinguished American architect. While in the country, he was influenced greatly by Japanese architecture and design.
In 1937, Mr. Nakashima designed a religious sanctuary in Pondicherry, India. During that time, he was inspired by the religion and culture of the country and was even given a Sanskrit name, “sundarananda,” meaning one who delights in beauty.
He returned to the United States in 1940 and settled in New Hope, Pennsylvania and concentrated on woodwork, emphasizing the material’s texture, lines and forms. He was intrigued by the distinctions that make each tree unique. He worked extensively with tree age rings and natural patinas, as well as favoring wood that contained knots and burls. Mr. Nakashima died in 1990 and his daughter, Mira Nakashima-Yarnall now operates his studio.
Although Serge Mouille is primarily known for his lighting fixtures, he started his career as a silversmith, receiving a master silversmith diploma from the School of Applied Arts in Paris. Afterwards, he studied under silversmith and sculptor Gilbert LaCroix. Mr. Mouille started designing light fixtures while working for Jacques Adnet in 1953. His major works during this period include the “Oeil” lamp (1953), “Flammes” (1954) and “Saturn” (1958).

by Cho Jae-eun

“George Nakashima, Serge Mouille” will run until May 18, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesdays to Fridays and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekends, at the Kukje Gallery in Sogyeok-dong, central Seoul. The nearest subway is Anguk station, line No. 3, exit 1. For more information, call (02) 735-8449 or visit www.kukje.org.
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