“Sexy manga girls” replace traditional images of angels in this kitsch reimagining of traditional Venetian mirrors by designers Giada Fiorindi and Federico Florini.
Called Lemon In My Eyes, Fiorindi and Florini worked with traditional Venetian mirror manufacturer Ongaro e Fuga to create a series of 4 mirrors. Each has flashy glass adornments and engravings of girls, drawn in the style of popular Japanese cartooning manga.
Presented at Milan design week last month, the designers wanted to “capture visual references from the past within a contemporary frame”.
“Lemon In My Eyes was born by the drive to investigate the communicational strength of decoration as a key factor to reflect upon the need of significance in an age where fast consumption has led instead to a culturally weak society,” the designers explained.
“We believe that we belong to an era which is entirely dominated by kitsch, meaning that cliches and formulas have almost completely replaced the research for meaning associated with aesthetics,” they continued.
The design duo researched traditional glassware, especially ornaments found on Murano Island in Italy, which they likened to the objects found in tourist retailers.
“We think that it is important that craft shouldn’;t only be associated with folklore but instead be a strong resource to define a contemporary cultural identity,” the designers continued.
A bespoke palette was chosen for each mirror using glass powders which were used to colour the glass. The mirror features glass-blown elements, including flowers, leaves and curls are adorned with glass pearls.
Fitted mirrored glass slabs were placed in the frames. They were engraved by hand with “almost pornographic” images of manga girls and accompanying text such as, “stay with me, my phone is about to die”.
“They give a loud warning about dreadful issues raised within the Internet community, such as post-truth, political culture and the growth of angry nationalists around the planet,” said the designers.
“The engraved images and texts prove the present duality of technology, both as a tool for escapism and a way to be part of the system,” they explained. “The project reflects upon the relevance of a digital actuality playing with the humorous paradox of superstition coexisting with algorithms.”
Lemon In My Eyes was on show at Alcova from 17 to 22 April as part of Milan design week 2018.
Also showing at Alcova was Dutch studio Belén, who presented her line of all-natural, textile-based products, and Royal College of Art graduate Christophe Machet, who uses a huge custom-built CNC machine to transform sewage pipes into chairs.