Kohler partners with global artists during Milan design week 2023

Promotion: as part of Milan design week 2023, bathroom and kitchen brand Kohler partnered with four female artists who are “trailblazing new paths in their art forms”.

These include contemporary artists Wang Ziling and Pushpa Kumari, multimedia artist Ananda Nahu and graffiti artist, Elle.

Ananda Nahu's vibrantly coloured arrangements of floating plants for her bathroom ware nod to her Brazilian heritage
Ananda Nahu‘s vibrantly coloured arrangements of floating plants for her bathroom ware nod to her Brazilian heritage

The artists designed original artwork that was applied to three products – each in a limited run of 150 pieces of bespoke Kohler bathroom ware. The designs were displayed at Milan’s Palazzo del Senato, a historic Baroque palace in the city centre.

While the artists created motifs in their individual styles, the group worked with the brand’s heritage colours – Avocado, Sunrise Yellow, Spring Green, Lavender, Peachblow and Pink Champagne.

New York-based Elle, created floral patterns in muted hues that decorate her Kohler products
New York-based Elle, created floral patterns in muted hues that decorate her Kohler products

Chinese artist Wang Ziling enveloped the bathroom ware with contemporary illustrations that take cues from traditional Chinese scenery paintings.

Indian artist Pushpa Kumari created products adorned with her detailed pen and ink drawings, which draw influences from Mithila art.

Wang Ziling enveloped the bathroom ware with illustrations that take cues from traditional Chinese scenery paintings
Wang Ziling enveloped the bathroom ware with illustrations that take cues from traditional Chinese scenery paintings

Known for her colourful street art, Rio de Janeiro-based multimedia artist Ananda Nahu opted for vibrantly coloured arrangements of floating plants for her bathroom ware.

The fourth artist, New York-based Elle, created floral patterns in muted hues.

“The resulting artworks are as beautiful, diverse and joyous as the people and places from which they originate,” said Kohler.

The project is the brand’s latest collection of Artist Editions – an offering of Kohler products that intends to push the boundaries of “decorative processes and material sets”.

Also on show was a piece by American artist Janet Echelman who created a striking aerial sculpture made of woven netting, called Noli Timere, which means “do not be afraid” in Latin.

Long-time Kohler collaborator Echelman created the work from colourful woven elements that nod to the artist’s signature sculptural style, which was suspended above a series of illuminated reflective pools.

Janet Echelman's colourful installation
Janet Echelman created a striking woven installation entitled Noli Timere

“Echelman’s art transforms with wind and light and shifts from being ‘an object you look at’ into an experience you can get lost in,” said Kohler.

Echelman’s past collaborations with the brand include the 18.02 by Janet Echelman Veil vessel sink, a white oval-shaped bathroom basin with a pattern informed by the molecular makeup of water particles.

Pushpa Kumari detailed pen and ink drawings adorned Kohler's products
Pushpa Kumari detailed pen and ink drawings adorned Kohler’s products

Noli Timere formed a visual centrepiece for Kohler’s creative programme during Milan design week called The Creator’s Journey, which was a celebration of art, design and innovation marking the brand’s 150th anniversary year.

“The Palazzo del Senato courtyard buzzed with activity all week long,” said Kohler.

“The space displayed Kohler’s legacy of continuous product innovation with our newest smart toilets, and it paid homage to our dedication to the arts, culture and diversity,” the brand added.

Janet Echelman's colourful installation
Echelman created her work from colourful woven elements that nod to the artist’s signature sculptural style

The brand also offered guests an immersive Creator Room experience that asked visitors to become the artist and create their own digital art, “filling the room with custom patterns and colour” before transposing the art onto the Numi 2.0 smart toilet.

For last year’s Milan design week, Kohler collaborated with artist Daniel Arsham to create another installation at the same site, which was crowned winner of The Fuorisalone Award 2022.

To find out more about Kohler, visit the brand’s website.

Partnership content

This article was written by Dezeen for Kohler as part of a partnership. Find out more about Dezeen partnership content here.

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