DUTCH WORLD PREMIER AT MASTERLY MILANO:
[non-]transparency chandelier made from porcelain as silent protest
against the total connectivity of the current era
The Dutch artist and ceramicist Jacqueline Harberink believes that, in 2018, our pursuit of transparency and full connectivity has gone too far. Harberink’s [non-]transparency chandelier, made from porcelain, makes a clear statement: people must retain the right to have their own secrets and to be out of reach if they wish to be. The essence of humanity comes into its own when we are offline. We need privacy and silence from time to time, to find out who we are and what we want.
Harberink’s [non-]transparency chandelier literally and figuratively symbolises the threat hanging over us, namely lack of privacy. Several transparent corrugated porcelain layers float on the chandelier as a symbol of our vulnerable yet very valuable right to privacy. The porcelain layers have been hand made to be transparent, with holes that are then closed invisibly by the artist using transparent glaze. This is precisely because she considers privacy so important and believes it is insufficiently protected at present. Eventually, we will realise that we cannot and must not share everything and that we need our “secrets”. In addition, we cannot be sure where the data we share will eventually end up.
There are now very few signal-free areas
Jacqueline Harberink: “I notice an increasing need to be offline in my circle of friends, and within myself, due to the information overload we experience every day. We long to be out of reach of digital networks, but this is almost impossible. Above and around us, satellites, drones and transmission masts are rapidly increasing in density. They relentlessly seek to connect with us via our digital devices at all times, so that everything can be shared. In Europe and America, there are very few areas that are still out of range of radio signals. As a human being, this makes it almost impossible to escape from total connectivity. Your data traces can always be found. I believe it is very important to pay more attention to this. We must remain critical and alert when it comes to privacy.“
The method used by Harberink is based on the Chinese “rice grain” technique from the 14th century. The porcelain layers are 100% handmade. The standard size of the chandelier is 120 (including the 50 cm pendule) x 50 cm, although it can also be custom made to other sizes. Variations in colour and material processing are also possible. The chandelier can be built modularly, which means it is also easy to transport.
The Dutch artist and ceramicist Jacqueline Harberink is known for her minimalist, handmade porcelain designs where simplicity, purity and down-to-earth style combine to create an elegant result. Her usable art, which varies from chandeliers and vases to tableware, is praised for its beauty and lightness, as well as its no-nonsense character. Most JHA Porcelain designs can be cleaned in the dishwasher. The organic, sustainable appearance and the lightness of the material, in combination with the original textures, stimulates many senses. This is why Jacqueline Harberink always asks people to touch the porcelain, because it is then that the sensory experience begins. She investigates complex, labour-intensive techniques that have fallen into disuse over the years, gives them a modern look, and then applies this to her porcelain. Through the use of the shellac and rice grain techniques, among others, and various glazes that she prepares herself, the strength and versatility of porcelain becomes tangible in a striking way.