Spotlight: The Feast
Dinner Date: Hiroko Takeda
We catch up with the talented textile artist
This month, we celebrate the launch of The Feast, a new dinner party collection—and a design lover’s dream—curated specially for DM/BX by interior designer Kristen McGinnis in collaboration with a talented set of creative studios. In honor of the debut, we made a date with award-winning textile artist Hiroko Takeda, who’s Metal Stain—a gorgeous, handwoven, limited edition set of linen and metallic napkins—is a key ingredient in the new collection.
Known for pushing boundaries with her painterly, often sculptural weaving, Takeda draws together disparate concepts and materials to achieve something new and unexpected. As a result, she’s amassed quite a following; the Japanese-born artist regularly takes on commissions from leading architects and private collectors around the globe. We sat down with Takeda to learn more about her approach; her special new work for The Feast; and her idea of the dream dinner party.
What was the specific inspiration behind the napkins you’ve created for this collection?
These pieces were inspired by the notion of metal becoming liquid, and creating a mark on cloth; also, by the liquid boundary between art and design. I had in mind the liquid metal mercury, and the idea of a napkin as something that starts out untouched but that tells a story over the course of a meal.
Tell us a bit about the materials you’ve chosen and the making process.
In my work, I like to bring totally different ideas and materials together and see how they can harmonize. The idea of linen stained by metal seems implausible. I was playing with these contradictory ideas and materials. In the process, I wove in different shades of metallic yarn on pure white linen ground, picturing organic and unknown shapes.
Beyond this particular collection, where do you find inspiration generally for your work?
I find inspiration in observing nature and human behavior, and in the characteristics and behavior of materials, among other things…
How would you describe the connective thread running throughout your work more broadly?
Observation and attention, and being open to the capacities of structure, material, composition, and craft. Also, my conceptual and emotional connection to the work is essential to me.
I read a wonderful quote in which you said, “The world I see—like the world of warp and weft—has rules and constraints that are supposed to be good for us, but disorder happens naturally and the other side of tension is fluidity.” How do you achieve the balance in your work between the structured and fluid?
Weaving is highly structured. There’s a lot of discipline to it. But there are unforeseen possibilities too. I want to discover something unforeseen in the process, which becomes the strength of the work.
After the isolation of the past year, we’re all eager to reconnect. When you imagine a dream dinner party these days, what comes to mind?
Coincidentally, I had a dream the other night that I attended a huge dinner party near Lake Como at the home of a textile mill owner in Italy. He had a foster home, and there were a lot of kids who grew up there. They put on a performance like a circus, wearing white costumes. It was a beautiful, Fellini world. But in my waking life, these days I feel hesitant to ask people to get together, and I don’t feel I need to socialize in a superficial way. I think my dream party now is more like a book reading or discussion party. ◆
Shop The Feast, only at DM/BX.