words Manijeh Verghese“Who actually needs it?” was the first reaction of Boaz Cohen, of Eindhoven-based design duo BCXSY, when discussing the studio’s recent project, Origin Part I: Join.
BCXSY has designed a series of delicate wooden screens in a variety of constellations that reinterpret the traditional Japanese craft of tategu, or wood joinery. “We were talking about making something for the Western world,” says Israeli designer Cohen, who heads BCXSY with his Japanese partner Sayaka Yamamoto, “and screens were not commonly encountered in our environment.”
They realised that the small spaces frequently found in Holland and much of Europe could benefit from a compact partition to create varying degrees of privacy. The project began with a trip to Japan three years ago, where the idea of doing “a project involving traditional craftsmanship” became clear to the pair. Having settled on woodwork, they began researching different techniques and looking for skilled craftsmen to assist them. Yamamoto came across a Japanese blog where she discovered the work of Mr Tanaka, who specialises in tategu. Although he employs traditional methods, he was open to the idea of manipulating the age-old art.
The forms of BCXSY’s screens are inspired by conventional Shoji screens found in Japanese homes. Made from untreated, rot-resistant hinoki (Japanese cypress), the resulting products were “about creating a mental barrier that blurs the view of the observer”, says Cohen, and gives a “heightened sense of peace”. Manijeh Verghese
The exhibition at Established & Sons Limited is on until 4 November