Hermès @ Theatrical Stage-Craft By Kiki van Eijk

 La Montre Hermès called upon Dutch designer Kiki van Eijk to inaugurate an unexpected stage-setting for its watch collections in creating little scenic events in its display windows immersed in the universe created by the House. The display is held  in its Tsim Sha Tsui Harbour City boutique. The nomadic display-window decor concept drawing Kiki van Eijk inspiration from her “Kiki World”, her poetic inner dream world. Working on the principle that each display is a “miniature theatre” intended to recreate a certain atmosphere, the designer creates veritable miniaturised scenes linked to the company’s collections (Arceau, Cape Cod, Dressage, Clipper, Heure H), as well as to the precious watches.
Consisting of two-dimensional decors and miniature objects, each little scene looks like a theatre stage where all the elements intrigue with their details, colours and occasionally incongruous proportions as is always the case in the artist’s world. 
 An idiosyncratic designer from the ebullient Dutch scene, Kiki van Eijk emerged at the beginning of the millenium when she graduated from the Eindhoven Design Academy. Her work, nurtured by childhood emotions and the world of toys, is based on the use of craft techniques. Her dreamlike world made up of ceramic furniture resembling cushions (Soft cabinet), giant teapots (Soft teapots), carpets with oversize flowers (Kiki Carpet) or micro-architecture that looks like odds and ends from the family attic (Cut and Paste), has been a hit with museums and galleries across the world. Kiki Van Eijk has already worked with Hermès to produce five exceptional travelling displays initially presented at the Bijenkorf department store in Amsterdam in 2012.
“La Montre Hermès has history and a wealth of knowledge” emphasises Kiki Van Eijk. “It plays with surprise elements linked to horses and the sea, while travel is always on the agenda. Consequently, I created an original environment for this itinerant exhibition which invites spectators to take part in a fairytale-like voyage. Enchanted by the decor, the spectator is like a child who sees something for the first time. It’s a bit like the sort of surprises one has when travelling and exploring unknown territory”.
Designed and manufactured by the designer herself, most of the 2,000 elements of which the decors consist call upon high-tech techniques (laser cut-outs, 3D printing, etc) and craftsmanship of the highest order (modelling, casting, and working with wood, resin and metal). Metal elements are matt, mirrored or even gilded. They create a visual richness in the display windows while evoking the multiple procedures and skills required to construct the watch models designed by the House of Hermès.
These exuberant, elegant and joyful displays communicate the rich imaginary universe linked to Hermès and are an invitation to discover and rediscover its flagship models. Thus, the display dedicated to the Arceau collection presents a stable from two different, complementary viewpoints; Dressage recreates a dream-like horse-riding arena; Clipper takes us on an ocean crossing; while the inspiration for the two little scenes dedicated to Cape Cod is drawn from resorts and marinas in this region opening onto the vast blueness of the Atlantic Ocean.
Whatever the setting, the watches attached to the supports remain the principal players in each universe. To mark the first step of the itinerant exhibition, Hermès exhibits as well its exceptional pieces: Pendentif Boule, Arceau Marqueterie de Paille, Arceau Parcours d’H, ATMOS Hermès Clock and etc, in the Harbour City boutique.
Pervaded by a sense of playfulness, elegance and precision, each of these “little theatres” in its own way embodies the Hermès spirit and, exactly like a production by a theatre group, will soon set off to continue the show in 6 Hermès boutiques in Hong Kong and Macau till the end of 2013.

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