From This To These by Leung Hong Ken
Leung Hong Ken (Niko), a recent graduate from Design Academy Eindhoven, aims to free herself from the stigma surrounding the concept of copying. She begins by reinterpreting a picture of an ancient Buddhist drum from Japan that she encountered in a book.
“The art of imitation is ingrained in my Chinese homeland. Our ancestors were known for their inventions, craftsmanship, art and culture which have in the past influenced so many other foreign arts and cultures. Yet, now we have also become known for our perfectly crafted counterfeits. I see copying as a way of initiating a process of development; but if you only create literal copies, there will be little creative progress. So I asked myself how to stimulate a broader, more imaginative approach to imitation?”
In her project titled From This to These – Progressive Copying, she embarks on a quest to further research the Buddhist drum's shape, decorative patterns, colours and context, and to explore new possibilities. “If I interpreted this object based only on the image itself, it could have been anything. A monumental sculpture, a tiny jewel, a stacked object, part of a modular unit, hollow or solid, flexible or rigid...”. And so, the same original object can be interpreted and transformed in countless different ways.
The project consists of an archive book of images illustrating objects that have certain characteristics in common. These eventually helped to create a new communal context; a fictional picnic. The collection of new artefacts includes: a lollipop stand, a ‘donut headpiece’, a tea pot, a vase...etc and a set of photographs.
“I hope that this project can act as a catalyst and be developed further to see how this approach can contribute to creating new forms and narratives in art and design.”
Photos and words: Courtesy of Leung Hong Ken