The Jakarta Post
Bandung-based artist Arkiv Vilmansa is pictured in front of an Ikea Art Event lighted sign with his glass art, "Hira". This year's annual event features eight glass art pieces created by artists from around the world. (JP/Liza Yosephine)
Arkiv Vilmansa has ventured beyond designing toys to create a glass art piece for a limited collection in collaboration with Swedish furniture retailer Ikea.
The Bandung-based artist created one of eight figurines designed by artists around the world that will be available at Ikea stores worldwide in the 2018 Art Event.
Speaking at a press conference on Wednesday, Arkiv said his collaboration with Ikea began in 2015, when the retail company approached him after seeing his work at an exhibition in Manila, the Philippines.
Arkiv immediately began work on a design for the annual collection, which this year focuses on glass art, an iconic Swedish art form that experienced a boom in the 1800s.
"I had never worked with glass before. As a toy designer, I mostly work with vinyl," said Arkiv.
The architecture graduate, however, rose to the challenge with enthusiasm. After proposing three designs, Arkiv's red-gold "Hira" was eventually chosen for the limited collection.
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In 2016, Arkiv headed to the Scandinavian nation to watch the figurines' production first hand at a factory in Maleras, not far from Ikea's headquarters in Almhult. There, he witnessed the precision and skills applied to produce each figurine.
"It's all about craftsmanship. In the production, each figurine goes through a one-time process from start to finish, without the opportunity for adjustment along the way, so it has to be perfect," he said.
Arkiv Vilmansa has created 'Hira' for Ikea's 2018 Art Event. The red-gold abstract piece was inspired by the Cave of Hira story, and represents life. (JP/Liza Yosephine)
The name of his figured was inspired by the story of the Cave of Hira, where the Prophet Muhammad received the first revelation of the Holy Koran. The skull-like design of the figurine, Arkiv said, was an abstract visualization of life.
Ikea Indonesia marketing manager Eliza Fazia said the annual Art Event aimed to democratize artwork and bring art into every home.
"For this reason, Ikea collaborates with world-renowned artists to create quality artwork that are still affordable," said Eliza. She added that each piece was available for Rp 799,000 (US$58).
Other designers involved in this year's collaboration include US toy designer and artist Joe Ledbetter, Hong Kong illustrator and toy designer Michael Lau, as well as Mark Landwehr and Sven Wasch of the German artistic duo Coarse, who created a fox in teal glass.
Germany's Coarse has created a teal Fox for the limited collection. (JP/Liza Yosephine)
Japanese manga artist Junko Mizuno, English illustrator James Jarvis, Canadian artist Nathan Jurevicius and Swedish glass artist Ludvig Lofgren also contributed their creativity to the 2018 Art Event.
Ikea Indonesia has placed the eight figurines in an exhibition-style display on the lower floor of its outlets to highlighting the pieces of the limited collection. (kes)