For many fashion houses today, craftsmanship is the ultimate expression of luxury. Even in the age of technology, there is a heightened interest in the value of handcrafted objects, so much so that the lines between fashion, design and craft are increasingly blurred.
This design craft is fundamental to Spanish fashion brand Loewe, and a cornerstone of creative director Jonathan Anderson’s rebuilding of the house these past four years. As the Northern Irish designer puts it, “Craft is the essence of Loewe. As a house, we are about craft in the purest sense of the word. That is where our modernity lies, and it will always be relevant.”
So passionate is Anderson about championing craft skills that in 2016 he founded the Loewe Craft Prize, under the purview of the Loewe Foundation. The annual prize, which awards the winner €50,000 in cash, aims to showcase and celebrate excellence, artistic merit and newness in modern craftsmanship—through a variety of techniques, media and modes of expression—in tribute to the house’s roots as a collective craft workshop in 1840s.
And for the first time, a Singaporean artist is among the 30 shortlisted for the 2018 edition of the Loewe Craft Prize. Chosen by a panel of experts from nearly 1,900 submissions from 86 countries, Ashley Yeo presents Arbitrary Metrics II (2015), a series of two paper works that are intricately cut into a cylindrical and a cubic shape.
According to the judging panel, Yeo’s work is “outstandingly cut in paper, yet feels closer to the woven techniques of crochet than to the paper cut means of quilling or origami. Filigree—traditionally done with precious metals—is done here with the simplest material, paper, made it precious by her action as a craft maker. The result is an ethereal work made as much of air and void as of paper and skills.”
Yeo’s body of work explores the reflections of the human condition in a complex and modern world. Subtle, and almost invisible, these paper cuts confound the viewer with their distinct sense of spatial mass, in an effort to bring back what was becoming less visible in the human condition.
The winner of the 2018 Loewe Craft Prize will be selected by a jury comprising 10 leading design figures, including Anderson and 2017 Loewe Craft Prize winner, Ernst Gamperl, and will be announced on May 3, at the opening of a special exhibition featuring the works the 30 finalists at the Design Museum in London. The 2018 Loewe Craft Prize exhibition runs from May 4 to June 17.
Scroll through the gallery below to see some of the works of the other finalists of the 2018 Loewe Craft Prize:
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