The Singapore homewares and decor scene was a hive of activity last week with the arrival of the first edition of Maison&Objet Asia at Marina Bay Sands. We bring you our report from the fairgrounds.
18 March, 2014
Top image: BD Barcelona and nanimarquina
After much anticipation, the inaugural Maison&Objet (M&O) Asia opened its doors last week at Singapore’s Marina Bay Sands. A total of 272 brands were there with ones from Asia having strong representation – 30 per cent of all exhibitors came from the region. With a strong focus on luxury homewares and decor, Maison&Objet offers an excellent complement to Singapore Indesign.
The trade event, which spanned 6,000sqm, may have been much smaller than the Parisian show, but this was not so surprising considering that it was M&O’s first time in this part of the world. Several brands we spoke to such as Gessi, Apaiser and Schema expressed their satisfaction with warm visitor response at their booths, while Nani Marquina, whose eponymous studio had a booth, offered up a personal observation that while M&O Paris focuses on decorative designs, in Singapore “[it appeared that] people were looking for more design objects”.
Here, we pick out some of the highlights from the inaugural show.
Schema – lampshade made out of wire
Schema was a crowd favourite and it was easy to see why. The brand from the Philippines uses metal wire to create complex and intricately patterned, handcrafted lamps and decorative products with a modern aesthetic.
Ong Cen Kuang
Another company with a focus on craft, Ong Cen Kuang is from Indonesia and this is their first time exhibiting their work in Singapore. The studio is led by Budiman Ong, who is known for his material experimentations and love for origami.
From Singapore, exhibitor Grafunkt displayed several of its latest design pieces, such as the Lap Table, Neon Coffee Tables and Parachute Lampshade.
Kenneth Cobonpue – Filipino Stand
A case of strength in numbers? The works of M&O Asia ‘Designer of the Year’, Kenneth Cobonpue and other leading Filipino designers could be found under the umbrella of the Filipino stand. It was hardly surprising that this was one of the livelier booths. See our conversation with Cobonpue.
Asian Rising Talents
(Left) Works by Melvin Ong – Desinere, Singapore. (Right) Works by Lo Yu-Fen, Taiwan
M&O had a small area at the back of the hall dedicated to emerging regional talents. This was a tightly curated space with just six designers – each from a different country. They included Denny Rasyid Priyatna from Indonesia, Lilianna Christina Manahan from the Philippines, Lo Yu-Fen from Taiwan, Melvin Ong from Singapore, Mike Mak from Hong Kong, and Sittichai Ngamhongtong from Thailand. As was perhaps intentional, the products on display were very diverse, ranging from jewellery to furniture, home accessories, lighting and textiles.
The man himself was in town to give a keynote speech on the first day of the fair. His stand displayed some of his latest work, such as his Beat Light Brass and Etch pendant lamp in black. Catch our interview with Tom Dixon, out soon.
Nanimarquina & BD Barcelona
The two leading brands from Spain took up positions side by side at M&O and we have to say, their characteristically bold and colourful designs made for a good pairing. See our interview with Nani Marquina.
Italian brand MisureEmme presented the latest collections of Mauro Lipparini including the elegant Ermes and Opera armchairs and the Margareth bed.
Seventhirtyam – David Trubridge lamps shown here
Yet another busy booth, Seventhirtyam from Hong Kong was here with brands from New Zealand and Europe offering products for the ‘entire home’. These included David Trubridge, Casalis, Latitude 22N and more.
It was hard to miss the Melogranoblu booth, what with the striking blown glass shapes of the Hydra lamp collection cascading down from the ceiling. Founded in Verona, the company now has a presence worldwide.
Bathrooms had a strong presence at the fair. Gessi’s stand was one of the most memorable, with its live water demonstrations and wide range of both existing and new products on show. Also of note, apaiser from Australia, which has just opened a new showroom in Singapore; Antonio Lupi and its innovative Sofio sink; Kaldewei, which brought in its very latest product, Classic Duo Oval; and of course, Axor and its presentation of the ShowerLamp – a collaboration with Oki Sato of Nendo, who was also in town for the fair.
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