BUZAO’s Dyeing Marble exhibition at Maison&Objet
Experimental Chinese studio BUZAO aims to break the boundary between product and art, and its Dyeing Marble exhibition at this year’s Maison&Objet presented furniture that did just that. Exploring organic simulacra, BUZAO’s work analyses the jewellery industry’s practice of colouring marble to look like jade, extracting and enhancing the effects of the artificial manmade process.
Simulacra is a manmade imitation or substitute, and often an unsatisfactory one. In the gemstone industry, some workshops enhance the colour of agates and jadeite with chemical dyes to endow them with a greater sense of value. BUZAO recreated this counterfeit colouring process by injecting artificial colour into natural stone, juxtaposing the highly saturated, industrial blue dye with the organic nature and classical qualities of marble.
BUZAO carried out experiments on the colouring stability of approximately 10 kinds of common marbles to explore the effect of industrial colour on natural texture. The process involved drip infusing the dye slowly and continuously into the marble so that it seeps out to the surface. As the colour spreads naturally through the stone, it intersects with the texture to produce a random effect.
The installation at Maison&Objet demonstrated this experimental process, rather than a finished product, with the marble furniture pieces hooked up to the dye IV.Visitors could see the effect of the dye as it spread through the marble surface and slowly changed over time. By enhancing the organic attributes through artificial intervention, BUZAO’s installation presented an abstract example of how industry and nature coexist.