Investigate the Materiality of Elements in Mineral Abstraction

Brooklyn-based designers Chen Chen and Kai Williams recently released a new body of work – Mineral Abstraction – with The Future Perfect. The exhibition investigates the materiality of fundamental environmental elements, particularly the methodology used. The design duo further explores how natural materials may be understood through chemical reactions. How do these materials inform the work being made? The art exhibition follows on the heels of Chen and Kai’s 2019 presentation at the same gallery.

minerals and mirrors on display in and art gallery

“Mineral Abstraction is an exponential unfolding of the objects and processes that have come to be synonymous with Chen and Kai,” says Gallery Director Laura Young. “Through an equally controlled and expressive manipulation of natural materials, Chen and Kai have developed a singular design lexicon that utilizes the material constitution of an object as an abstracted and gestural agent.”

minerals and mirrors on display in and art gallery

Eight new Geology Mirrors make their debut, with two having evolved into tombstone-like shapes. Salvaged stone offcuts created during the making of the mirrors have been fused to the glass using a silver nitrate solution as a representation of humankind’s attempt to control the natural world.

Their counterparts are a series of small stone sculptures. Their construction exemplifies Chen and Williams’ technique of stripping elements down to the essence before building them up as something slightly removed from the natural world.

They’ve also added to Stone Roses, this time leaving soldering marks exposed to show the objects’ making and process.

large wall mirror featuring rocks and minerals

20″ Geo Transition Mirror No. 7

detail of large wall mirror featuring rocks and minerals

20″ Geo Transition Mirror No. 7

sculpture featuring rocks and minerals on white background

20″ Rock No. 7

large wall mirror featuring rocks and minerals

36″ Geo Transition Mirror No. 5

detail of large wall mirror featuring rocks and minerals

36″ Geo Transition Mirror No. 5

sculpture featuring rocks and minerals on white background

36″ Rock No. 5

large wall mirror featuring rocks and minerals

36″ Geo Transition Mirror No. 6

detail of large wall mirror featuring rocks and minerals

36″ Geo Transition Mirror No. 6

sculpture featuring rocks and minerals on white background

36″ Rock No. 6

large wall mirror featuring rocks and minerals

48″ Geo Transition Mirror No. 4

detail of large wall mirror featuring rocks and minerals

48″ Geo Transition Mirror No. 4

sculpture featuring rocks and minerals on white background

48″ Rock No. 4

large wall mirror featuring rocks and minerals

42″ Geo Transition Mirror No. 1

detail of large wall mirror featuring rocks and minerals

42″ Geo Transition Mirror No. 1

large wall mirror featuring rocks and minerals

60″ Geo Transition Mirror No. 1

detail of large wall mirror featuring rocks and minerals

60″ Geo Transition Mirror No. 1

large wall mirror featuring rocks and minerals

Archway No. 1

detail of large wall mirror featuring rocks and minerals

Archway No. 1

large wall mirror featuring rocks and minerals

Archway No. 2

detail of large wall mirror featuring rocks and minerals

Archway No. 2

sculpture featuring rocks and minerals on white background

Archway Rock No. 1

sculpture featuring rocks and minerals on white background

Archway Rock No. 2

The exhibition will be on display through May 20, 2022 at The Future Perfect’s San Francisco location. To learn more about Mineral Abstraction, visit thefutureperfect.com.

Kelly Beall is senior editor at Design Milk. The Pittsburgh-based graphic designer and writer has had a deep love of art and design for as long as she can remember, and enjoys sharing her finds with others. When undistracted by great art and design, she can be found making a mess in the kitchen, consuming as much information as possible, or on the couch with her three pets. Find her @designcrush on social.

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