A captivating universe of kinetic art, Horological Machines
and Mechanical Art Devices
The Watch Quote™ - January 13th, 2012
MB&F’s M.A.D.Gallery is now open in Geneva on Rue Verdaine, a stone’s throw from their offices and atelier in the heart of the city’s old town.
Inside the gallery, not only will you find the complete range of MB&F’s Horological Machines and new Legacy Machine No.1, but you’ll also have the pleasure of discovering carefully-curated pieces – or, as MB&F like to call them, Mechanical Art Devices – from around the world, each one making your heart beat that little bit faster.
There are amazing ‘Machine Lights’ from Berlin-based Frank Buchwald; beautiful hand-blown hour glasses by superstar designer Marc Newson; striking metallic sculptures by Chinese artist Xia Hang; cheeky kinetic creations crafted by Laikingland, an artist-engineer team with a quirky sense of humour; and a sleek toy car – appealing to the child in all of us – by Slovenian designer Nika Zupanc. The collection evolves continuously, with new arrivals already planned throughout the year.
MB&F created the M.A.D.Gallery in order to situate their Horological and Legacy Machines in an appropriate context and along the way they have discovered kindred spirits in the world of kinetic art. MB&F Founder and Creator Maximilian Büsser explains the concept behind the gallery and the common thread running through the fascinating pieces in the collection:
“We saw the M.A.D.Gallery as the perfect platform to showcase our own Machines as well as other pieces of kinetic art by other creators whom we greatly admire.
MB&F create Machines that tell the time, not to tell the time. They are unique examples of mechanical horology but, more than that, they are pieces of three-dimensional kinetic art. The same goes for all the creators featured in the gallery: their craft transcends a practical purpose and their creations assume the status of artworks.
Thanks to the M.A.D.Gallery we are meeting like-minded artists operating in parallel worlds; people who think like us and share our passion for creating kinetic art.”
In the M.A.D.Gallery, Horological and Legacy Machines and other wonderful Mechanical Art Devices by amazing creators share the same environment. Here is a selection of creators currently featuring in the M.A.D.Gallery:
Berlin-based artist Frank Buchwald was a freelance painter and illustrator before deciding to focus on creating light objects – and his Machine Lights series are the stunning fruits of his efforts. The ingenious series comprises 12 different models, each one manually produced from as many as 200 individual components made from raw steel and brass which are then meticulously hand-burnished to create a black surface structure. Meanwhile, bulbs and light tubes with partially visible filaments or yellow surface evaporation help his creations to emit a mysterious glow.
Chinese artist Xia Hang invites us to unleash our natural instinct for self-amusement with his wonderful, kinetic sculptures, located at the crossroads of art and play. Playful assembly, disassembly and reassembly are themes at the heart of Hang’s amazing, larger-than-life sculptures – impressively-sized, glinting stainless steel creations that have so far wowed visitors to his warmly-received solo exhibitions including ‘Play & Fun’ in Shanghai and ‘Please Don’t Touch’ in Beijing.
Laikingland is a creative collaboration based in the UK and the Netherlands designing and manufacturing beautifully crafted kinetic objects that engage and evoke a sense of play and nostalgia. Laik, from the Old English lác, means ‘play’ in certain parts of northern England and Laikingland’s aim is to instil a touch of everyday playfulness in the lives of those who own a Laikingland creation – creations in which narrative, humour and craftsmanship form a potent triumvirate.
Slovenian Nika Zupanc tackles everyday themes – banality, boredom and time constraints – to challenge our understanding of contemporary furniture, architecture and interior design. Zupanc’s work has been described as everything from “punk elegance” (Elle USA) to “techno chic” (BusinessWeek) while The Wall Street Journal has described Zupanc as “the real star” during the Milan Furniture Fair. Marcel Wanders – founder of Moooi, the leading design house that has presented several of Zupanc’s designs – says of her: “In a world of design which is dominated by rationalism, minimalism and technology, it is a pleasure and a necessity to find a scarce and lonely soul who puts forward her power and sensitivity to create pieces with a smart aesthetic and feminine language.”
Denis Hayoun was born in Geneva where he lives and works as a photographer, a profession and passion that he has been committed to for over 25 years. Founder of his own studio, Diode, Denis has worked for clients in the haute-horlogerie, high-end jewellery and fashion industries. He also has developed his own body of travel photography and created a series of photographs focusing on the works of Swiss kinetic art exponent Jean Tinguely.
Tatsuya Matsui has exhibited work at the Venice Biennale; New York’s MoMA as well as the Museum of Decorative Arts inside the Louvre and has headed corporate identity, architectural and interior design projects for major brands. Matsui has also been a lecturer in the Faculty of Science and Engineering at Waseda University since 2002.
Since 2001, when he founded Flower Robotics Inc, Matsui and his team have invested their energies into developing humanoid robots – machines that do not just mimic the appearance of a human beings, but also move with the same grace and poise while even remembering the different effects their posturing has had on onlookers.
Jake Dyson studied Industrial Design at Central St Martins College of Art and Design in London. After graduating in 1994, he eventually set up his own workshop where he began developing his design ideas, one of those being Motorlight, born from the frustration that there was no flexibility in angle adjustment of existing uplighters. Dyson’s motorised and remote-controlled Motorlight design gives flexibility and the function to select angles of light anywhere between those extremes.
Born in Sydney, Marc Newson is one of the most acclaimed and influential designers of his generation. He has designed everything from furniture and household objects, to bicycles and cars, private and commercial aircraft, yachts, various architectural commissions, and signature sculptural pieces for clients across the globe. For the Ikepod brand in which he is a partner, Newson has designed exquisite handblown hourglasses. He was included in Time magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in the World and has received numerous awards and distinctions, including his appointment as the Royal Designer for Industry in the UK.
The Döttling manufactory was founded in Maichingen, Germany in 1919 and has been a remarkable exponent of the finest locksmithing and metal working artisanship for nearly a century. Döttling’s fourth-generation owner Markus Döttling has made it his mission to build a subtle bridge between tradition and innovation. Connoisseurs all over the world are appreciating Döttling’s artistry, from their restoration of antique safes to their own luxurious inventions which give rise to the term haute safeology.
MB&F ¦ M.A.D.Gallery
Address: Rue Verdaine 11,
1204 Geneva, Switzerland
Telephone: +41 22 508 10 38.
Fax: +41 22 310 97 11
Tuesday-Friday 10:00 to 18:30.
Saturday 10:00 to 17:00.