emgallery -  art & furniture P r e v i e w Friday 14th & Saturday 15th November, 2008
- furniture from Cambodia     - Khmer dancer drawings from Cambodia     - silk carpets from Laos

emgallery introduces its first collection of art & furniture. Furniture from Cambodia, Khmer Dancer drawings, and silk carpets from Laos; they are all unique pieces specifically made by or for em. Here are some stories behind each collection...

emGallery art & furniture
The former Indochina now Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam-- has a unique charm in and style, with a background fusing Southeast Asian, French colonial, and Chinese influences. As we frequent these countries, we have found some very interesting and unique pieces of art and furniture. Here are our selections this time:

emGallery art & furniture

emGallery art & furniture
We were instantly drawn to these sketches when we encountered them while in Cambodia. They are beautiful drawings of Khmer dancers but totally unconventional. The colours are delicate and the style poetic. We later discovered that these were reprints of drawings by Rodin, known mostly for his sculpture masterpieces. This is how the story goes...

"In July 1906, Auguste Rodin went to the palace of the president of France for a garden party featuring the dancers of the Royal Ballet of Cambodia. Rodin showed up with a ticket but no tie. He was turned away, furious. He managed to see the dancers perform in the Bois de Bologne a few days later. What he saw was so pure and startling that it sparked in him a kind of fever he could only describe as love. "I contemplated them in ecstasy," he said. He followed the dancers back to Marseille so precipitately that he left his art supplies behind and had to buy butcher paper from a grocer to draw on.. From this brief encounter - Rodin spent less than a week in Marseille - came 150 of his most famous drawings. "Here you have a real exchange of two authentic traditions," said Christina Buley-Uribe, a curator from the Rodin Museum in Paris. "It is the encounter of Rodin's modernity and this very traditional dance." Classical Cambodian dance is a deeply conservative form. In 1906 it was almost exclusively a function of the court. The dancers lived at the Royal Palace and performed at the king's pleasure, mostly for dignitaries and royal rituals, like marriages or funerals. The vice rector at Phnom Penh's Royal University of Fine Arts, said the dance was a tradition with a precise choreographic language that "excludes any improvisation or variation."

emGallery art & furniture

emGallery art & furniture

"...Now the delightful Cambodian princesses have reawakened my old impressions and increased them a hundred times. They have brought antiquity to life again for me. They have shown me, in reality, the beautiful gestures, the beautiful movements of the human body which the ancients knew how to capture in art. They suddenly immersed me in nature, revealed a completely new aspect and taught me that artists here below have no other task than to observe nature and find sustenance at its source. I am a man who had devoted his entire life to the study of nature and who infinitely admires the works of antiquity; so you can imagine how such a superb spectacle must have affected me, a spectacle that opened my eyes to antiquity again." -- Auguste Rodin

emGallery art & furniture

emGallery art & furniture
em introduces a new line of silk-weaving only this time in the form of carpets. Laos may not be a usual source for carpets, which makes our carpets all the more special. Our carpet producer, originally from Central Asia, innovatively combined his tradition of carpet making with that of silk weaving in Laos. The result is one of the most exquisite silk carpets we have ever encountered.

All of our carpets are made from natural silk, dyed with natural dyes. Only top quality, environmentally friendly natural dye extracts from plants are used for dyeing the silk. The yarns are then hand spun.

In the carpet weaving highly experienced weavers use ancient Turkoman techniques that have proved to be best for very high quality carpets. In this technique warp threads are tied over pile threads (or knots), and are set up one under the other, creating a double layer that gives the carpet firmness and resistance as knots become double locked. An astonishing 400.000 knots per one square meter is the density of knots in these carpets.

Two silk weft threads are used over every row of knots, which are tightly beaten by a special tool (comb) securing them and keeping the geometry of the carpet. After finishing every two rows of knots a weaver using shears then trims the carpet creating a uniform surface. If someone touches the surface of these carpets, they can immediately feel the difference. That is because the silk has been spun by hand in a centuries old technique. Others make carpets using factory spun silk which can not give one the feel that our carpets do.

Another unique attribute are the designs. Traditional Lao motifs are incorporated to make these carpets truly one-of-a-kind.

emGallery art & furniture