“Simon Hampikian (b. 1998, Bordeaux) works on the crossroads between art and design, allowing his practice to be guided by physical or observatory finds from the urban landscape.
Coming from a family of farmers where manual and hands-on skills were a common denominator (his father even being a wooden boat constructor); assembling, repairing and building were self-evident habits he grew up with. He went on to study product design, strengthening his relationship to physical matter and the act of creating. Subsequently moving to Fine Arts (Haute Ecole des Arts du Rhin), Hampikian settled freely into his current practice, where hybridity and the sampling of both aesthetic and pragmatic typologies gesticulate his intriguing objects.
The streets are omnipresent in his designs, which often incorporate recuperated material and found objects which he playfully repurposes. These stumbled-upon finds are symptomatic of our industrialised and consumer-obsessed society: mass-produced utensils, non-degradable waste, the debris of our contemporary lives - and yet, Hampikian seeks to highlight their allure. Boasting sun-faded surfaces and patina’s commemorating their previous use or neglect, they imbue life and poetry into the final works, such as is the case in MunLamp. This series originated in the encounter between discarded traffic sign poles, and slabs of leftover PVC from cooling cells. Or CMSeat, which consists of downgraded climbing ropes, tightly woven into chairs, their natural colours defining the works’ palette. Inherent to his practice is a sense of co-authorship, allowing for the material to define its own course during the creation process. A disobedience if you like, which he eagerly embraces. Coincidences or accidents perpetuated into memories.
He frequently returns to the street, not only to source materials, but also for inspiration. CuratingDailyLife is a database of images and snapshots collected since 2019 : seemingly incoherent fragments of the built environment that are sometimes translated into corresponding designs, or sometimes just there to fascinate and to inspire an atmosphere. Overall, these photographs are an essential tool in the conception and creation methods of Hampikian, who is relentlessly fascinated by small phenomenons of humble, human existence. His appetite for what’s ordinary is rhymed with his technical mindset, from which he derives logic and visual language, to create works which are often ambiguous about their function. DailyObjects is a collection of such examples: a stool, a table, and a box made from unexpected combinations of materials. They look fragile, and even though their names directly reference quotidian furniture, their appearance confuses this expectation.”
Text by Evelyn Simons
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