Click here to see more of 'The Shanghai Riddle'.
The series is in participation with Pearl Lam's Contrasts Gallery in Shanghai and the result of a scheme set up to introduce European designers to local Chinese practices. Baas took inspiration from time spent observing daily life and culture in Shanghai.
'It's a city full of contradictions', the designer says, 'old/new, high-tec/low-tech, tradition/revolution, fake/real, cheap/expensive, original/copy. Together all these contradictions seem to form an interesting paradox. The exhibition 'The Shanghai Riddle' is also full of paradoxes and experiments. It's inspired by a city in which everything seems possible.'
Baas' interpretation comes in the form of hand-carved elm replicas of plastic mass-produced furniture, highlighting the contrast between treasured Chinese handcraft and contemporary, mass-produced and mass consumed. As with all Baas' work the unlikely aesthetic is humorous but thought-provoking rather than gratuitous.
In addition to these pieces Baas has also added to his 'Sculpt'series with a grand piano and a Chinese instrument called the 'pipal'. And proving the breadth and depth of his talent the designer hopped onto the stool and played a quick jig on the piano at the exhibition's opening."