Zuiderzee Settings by Kiki van Eijk Document “Brackish” History

The Zuiderzee region in the Netherlands is one of such unbelievable geographic alteration that the story of the region’s development seems a fairy tale. Formerly a shallow inlet of the North Sea, the Zuiderzee was closed off by a large dam in 1932 that turned the salt water inlet into a fresh water lake known as IJsselmeer. The Zuiderzee Museum focuses on the area’s artistic heritage, where “communities, crafts and water are central.” For the Milan Design Show, the museum asked two artists to create installations that centered on the region’s history.

Cart. Designed by Kiki van Eijk. [Image ©MoCo Loco]

One of these exhibits was Zuiderzee Settings, a series of seven pieces of furniture designed by Kiki van Eijk. After visiting the museum, van Eijk “designed new objects referring to everyday domestic customs and crafts.” The cupboards and ceramics were manufactured by Dutch firms which employed traditional construction methods.

Zuiderzee Settings by Kiki van Eijk Document “Brackish” History

At Home and Homecrafts. Designed by Kiki van Eijk. [Images ©MoCo Loco]

Zuiderzee Settings by Kiki van Eijk Document “Brackish” HistoryZuiderzee Settings by Kiki van Eijk Document “Brackish” History

The pieces in Zuiderzee Settings use tulip wood and ceramics to highlight the region’s history, recreating a series of tableaux vivants that call attention to the fishing life of the Zuiderzee’s villages. For example, Homecrafts is a piece of furniture with a “fold back ironing board.” It’s inspired by “the homecrafts of Cap-makers and women that had to pleat their costumes.” Intended to be soft–the piece uses the pale tulip wood in combination with white ceramics and matte gold paint–Homecrafts pays homage to “the romantic side” of the Zuiderzee. All the pieces envisioned by van Eijk use ceramic drawers in concert with the tulip wood, although the treatment of the ceramic is unique and unusual–the material appears to be as soft and pliable as fabric. This is a trademark of her Soft Cabinet, Soft Shelve, and Soft Clock. The Settings both illustrate and question the nature of domesticity.

Via MoCo Loco.

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