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Q&A WITH THE CURATOR OF “CREATIVE ROUGHNESS – CONTEMPORARY ISRAELI DESIGN"— ALON RAZGOUR
The second international exchange exhibition, Creative Roughness – Contemporary Israeli Design, is part of a range of exhibitions being held during World Design Capital Taipei 2016 and will open on July 9th until August 14th. Renowned curator Alon Razgour uses 4 key words to analyze contemporary Israeli design and unveil the mysteries of Israeli cultures.
We invited him some question to help you explore the ways in which historical and cultural heritage are transformed using design concepts and creative methods to address limitations brought on by restricted resources easily.
Israel is mysterious to most Taiwanese. Israel has a long history and deep-rooted culture. At the same time, Israel is young as a country. How does the uniqueness of history and culture influence Israeli design?
The uniqueness of Israeli culture is influenced by Its identity as a melting pot for various nationalities and ethnicities. The new Jewish country was established on immigrants arriving at different periods from various countries in Europe, Asia and the Arab world.
The Israeli design reflects the combination between all those various cultures, creating an interwoven language from clean geometric lines to elaborated oriental ornaments.
The process of searching for the new identity began with an eclectic period moving on to the Bauhaus period (influenced by German immigration), the modern period (following the need for massive and quick building) and now to a more holistic approach to design.
What roughness do you find in Israeli design? How does it become the design language of Israeli design? How do designers respond to it with materials?
The Israeli rough aesthetic derives from being a young country, unrestricted by one cultural background. Youth means a constant hunger and search for more. Searching for and creating new things, with a constant eagerness for ‘ the next’, exceeds the need for a polished finish that requires a state of calmness of security.
The domestic population in Israel is only around 8 million. Therefore how do Israeli designers break through the limits of the domestic market and work internationally?
Israel, like Taiwan, is a kind of an island. On the west border of Israel lays the Mediterranean Sea and all other surrounding borders are with restricted pass.
This unique geographic situation leaves us with the overseas option. As a new nation, descendants of immigrants, we are not afraid to go abroad and to be exposed to new languages and ideas.
Where there is no fear of failing there is a success.
As a curator, do you have any message for Taiwanese visitors?
The Contemporary Israel Design exhibition is the best platform to define culture. In order to give you, people of Taiwan, best possible answers on various possible questions I have to ask myself what do we present? Is it only esthetics or some added value?
Twenty years ago, as a young student with magna cum laude, I have been asked by Chinese student in an international designer’s conference “what do I bring with me from Israel?" For Twenty years I am trying to find the answer to this question. How come that in spite of all the globalization the world is going through in the last decades we are still dealing with locality?
In my opinion ‘searching for identity’ is becoming an international topic, maybe as a reaction to globalization and ‘free pass borders’. The ability to keep one’s local identity makes everything more interesting.
Exhibition date: 7/9~8/14 10:00~18:00
Opening event—Design Marathon: 7/10 11:00~17:00
Exhibition Venue: Songshan Cultural and Creative Park
WDC Taipei 2016