Liquid Lamp. Designed by Kyouei Design.
In keeping with the theme of transforming the mundane by reshaping it, the Japanese design group brings us Liquid Lamp, “a lamp which appears to be flowing liquid.” The iron plate lamp is available as a table or bracket lamp, in white/white or white/red. The paint seeping from the interior of the lampshade drips in trickling globs of red or white, in each case emanating from a pristine white shade. Like the melting clocks of Dali and the skewed perspective of De Chirico, Liquid Lamp evinces a battle between reality and fantasy, and foreground and background. Its underlying playfulness reminds me of the last Top Chef winner, a cocky guy who piped mushroom mousse into the iconic shape of a mushroom. Some judges called it a simple trick. Others found it a creative touch.
People will surely be as equally split in regards to Kyouei Design’s Liquid Lamp. It will find a place on the wall of some coffee house in Amsterdam as likely as it will appear on the nightstands of boutique hotels in New York. In either case, Liquid Lamp makes us look twice—at itself and at the nature of art.