Jaime Hayón says his Groninger Museum
exhibition is full of "all kinds of crazy products"

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A giant chess set and a hot-dog-shaped rocking horse are on show at a retrospective of work by Spanish designer Jaime Hayón at the Groninger Museum in the Netherlands (+ slideshow + interview).

Funtastico Jaime Hayon exhibition at Groninger Museum
Ceramic objects by Jaime Hayon on display at the Groninger Museum

The Funtastico exhibition is Jaime Hayón's first solo exhibition and encompasses a decade of his art and design projects, which he says includes "green chickens and all kinds of crazy products."

"The show is really this synthesis of this crazy ten years in which a lot of things happened in many different countries and shows," Hayón told Dezeen.

Funtastico Jaime Hayon exhibition at Groninger Museum
Rockin Sausage and other designs at the Groninger Museum

These range from small objects and furniture design, often created in ceramics, to large-scale installations and interiors.

"[My work] has developed in a very curious way," said Hayón. "Each time the detail of the work is very intense and the know-how of the craftsmanship is becoming more and more sophisticated.'

Funtastico Jaime Hayon exhibition at Groninger Museum
The Tournament giant chess set at the Groninger Museum

Among pieces on show is The Tournament, a chess set recreating the Battle of Trafalgar fought by the British navy against France and Spain in 1805, which was aptly installed in London's Trafalgar Square for the city's design festival in 2009.

Also featured is his collaborative work with artist Nienke Klunder, including a rocking horse in the form of a purple hot dog and a cabinet with skyscraper-shaped cupboards.

Funtastico Jaime Hayon exhibition at Groninger Museum
Ceramics and artwork at the Groninger Museum

These art pieces sit alongside practical furniture and ceramics to form the exhibition, which runs until 30 March 2014.

"A lot of the time, people don't understand what I'm doing because I'm kind of this guy who has a hybrid behaviour within design," Hayón said. "I go from making very functional serious designs for companies such as Fritz Hansen to expressing myself and creating sculpture and non-functional items relating to themes."

Green Chicken by Jaime Hayón
Green Chicken rocking horse

Hayón designed the interior of the information centre at the Groninger Museum when it was renovated in 2010. The museum has previously hosted a solo exhibition by Dutch artists Studio Job, who also designed spaces during the building's revamp.

Here's our interview with Jaime Hayón:


Dan Howarth: Tell me about the exhibition.

Jaime Hayon: The interesting thing is the work is focused on the artistic work so everything that is behind the industrial and the artistic work that I do. So its more focused on the installations that I'm doing with galleries and exhibitions in the last ten years. From the first at David Gill to the other exhibitions that I've done such as the one in Minneapolis, Lisbon, London, everywhere.

New York is Miami cabinet, 2012, by Jaime Hayón
New York is Miami cabinet, 2012

Dan Howarth: How has your work developed over the past ten years?

Jaime Hayon: It has developed in a very curious way because each time the detail of the work is very intense and the know-how of the craftsmanship is getting more and more sophisticated. So I would just say its just got more serious in terms of contributing more on the evolution of certain materials and certain aspects of the contemporary design. I think the work has evolved in a very meticulous way, the most detail that is possible and to show how we can show how we can challenge different materials and applications of these. Obviously theres a really magical part, which is also the research on the imagination and all the, fantasy behind the work.

Testa Mechanica Green, 2012, by Jaime Hayón
Testa Mechanica Green, 2012

Dan Howarth: What inspires your designs?

Jaime Hayon: I've been inspired by a lot of things, from the circus to lost worlds here and there. I've been trying to use those themes and try and get them back into track. I was inspired by nature creating cactus', ceramic pigs and crazy stuff. Green chickens and all kinds of crazy products, which I think also shaped the identity of the work in the last ten years.

Ceccotti Twenty Two chair by Jaime Hayón
Ceccotti Twenty Two chair

Dan Howarth: Which of the projects is your favourite and why?

Jaime Hayon: I don't have a favourite one because they all link from one to the other. I think I work like an artist than a designer and I'm trying to shape the style with the evolution of the work and to put it together. It's basically a whole amount of coats that just get together and these coats create an identity of my work. It's been evolving really well and I'm really happy about that.

Americano Plate 6, 2012, by Jaime Hayón
Americano Plate 6, 2012

Dan Howarth: What themes can be seen throughout the exhibition? Which ones stand out?

Jaime Hayon: In general I think the exhibition is very beautiful. I'm very happy about it. The curators are amazing, they've been doing great work. In the past they've curated some [Chinese artist] Ai Wei Wei shows, they've done the first [Australian designer] Marc Newson museum show, which happened to be in Groninger as well. They've done [fashion designers] Viktor and Rolf, McQueen, a lot of artists and designers before my exhibition. So I was really proud to have them asking me for that work.

Choemon Forma 1, 2010, by Jaime Hayón
Choemon Forma 1, 2010

Obviously we're showing the collection that they own. It involves a lot of sketchbooks, the chess game that was presented at London Design Festival in 2009 at Trafalgar Square, also non-commissioned work. All these things are all put together and it's an experience for people to look at the work and to understand what the boundaries of the work I'm doing. A lot of the time, people don't understand what I'm doing because I'm kind of this guy who has a hybrid behaviour within the design discipline and I go from making very functional serious designs for companies such as Fritz Hansen to expressing myself creating sculpture and non-functional relating to themes, which I consider interesting because of their aesthetics and try to be them to another era through creativity.

Rockin Sausage, 2012, by Jaime Hayón and Nienke Klunder
Rockin Sausage, 2012, with Nienke Klunder

So basically the show is really this synthesis of this crazy ten years in which a lot of things happen in many different countries and shows. The contemporary vision of the work which goes from Turkey to the United States to Asia, and all these different countries in which different materials and local crafts so I think its a very interesting show for the public.

Funtastico Jaime Hayon exhibition at Groninger Museum
Jaime Hayón with his The Tournament giant chess set installation
  • Nick

    Hayon is incredible under every aspect.
    Great person and great creator.

  • Ken Richards

    This stuff is idiosyncratic, ugly and reactionary. It seems what Jamie is good at is self promotion. Wait a minute, isn’t that marketing?