The design process of the Spotted Nyonya Collection reinterprets and transforms traditional objects from the past and invests them with a contemporary attitude. The collection is a particularly important reflection of Asian culture and craft, but re-purposed in a modern way.
The Jury was impressed by the originality of the idea and its beautiful and painstaking execution, with a high level of craftsmanship reflecting the craft values of past traditions.
The merging of classic craft with contemporary design changes our perception of these traditional, and originally functional Peranakan products, investing them with authorship and, in the process, giving them a new twist, to create completely new and beautiful pieces.
Spotted Nyonya is an industrial re-interpretation of traditional Nyonya porcelain vessels used as domestic wares native to the Peranakan Chinese in Southeast Asia. This contemporary take transforms the original multi-coloured surface into a new dotted pattern, using a technique similar in concept to the resistdyeing technique that is often applied to dye fabric patterns.
Spotted Nyonya feels both familiar yet refreshing at the same time, a contemporary pop art gesture overlaid onto a very traditional object. By “removing” distinctive features of the Nyonya porcelain, Hans has ironically made them stand out more. This reductionist gesture is radical in making one wonder what defines the typical Nyonya porcelain. What is less in this case, becomes more.
The porcelain pieces are first masked with the new dotted motif, which is then sandblasted so that the areas protected are preserved, while the original glaze sections from exposed areas are erased, revealing the white porcelain which lies beneath.
Hans’s work employs function as an investigative medium, working with objects that often explore values, rituals and materiality, resulting in something that posits itself between the fields of art and design. The finished product is a tranquil and functional piece of work. The sheer time and effort that goes into these pieces is a work of art in and of itself. The first series of Spotted Nyonya was awarded the distinction of Les Découvertes (Most Innovative Product Award) as part of the Now! Design à vivre show at the fall edition of Maison et Objet 2011 in Paris.