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A master of his crafts

by Teresa Chow on Apr 29, 2015 in Lifestyle
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Born in Tel Aviv, Paris-based Arik Levy is a cross-boundary designer who also devotes a lot of his time to creating art (Photo by Dicky Liu)

Born in Tel Aviv, Paris-based Arik Levy is a cross-boundary designer who also devotes a lot of his time to creating art (Photo by Dicky Liu)

Staunchly refusing to be pigeonholed, Paris-based artist and designer Arik Levy makes full use of his freedom of expression by also exhibiting his skills as a craftsperson, technician, photographer and filmmaker

Hong Kong's typhoon season, with its heavy rains and thundering storms, is generally unwelcome as it impedes daily activities — but for Israeli-born artist Arik Levy, the anticipation of seeing one of his sculptures installed outdoors during a typhoon was a thrill. "It's always a challenge to create in an urban context," says Levy, attending his first solo exhibition at Pekin Fine Art in Hong Kong during Art Basel.

Levy's signature reflective steel rock does little to physically impose on its environment, but alters the way in which beholders perceive an environment that is mirrored on its oblique surface — and it certainly creates a dramatic effect in a storm.

Crater Air C80 is a sculpture that employs mirror-polished marine grade stainless steel inflated by air injection (Photo by Dicky Liu)

Crater Air C80 is a sculpture that employs mirror-polished marine grade stainless steel inflated by air injection (Photo by Dicky Liu)

Known for his dexterity in manipulating a variety of materials as both an artist and an industrial designer, Levy's vast body of work can be viewed in prestigious galleries and museums worldwide. For instance, his bright red sculpture RockGrowth permanently sits alongside The Atomium in Brussels, while other works appear at the Pompidou Centre in Paris, V&A in London and the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

Although he has been based in Paris for the past 20 years, Levy's connection with Asia is significant. Before coming to Europe to gain a degree in industrial design at the Art Centre Europe in Switzerland, he worked in Japan, whose influence can be seen in his work, such as the Geta cabinet for Modus. Recently, he has been working on public commissions in Hong Kong, Taiwan and Singapore, clearly making his mark in Asia.

"In my opinion, people from societies which are so bound to metaphors, such as China and Japan, and with a long history, are interesting as they are constantly learning, unlike Europe," says Levy.

This is a preview of the "A master of his crafts” article from the May 2015 issue of Perspective magazine.

To continue reading, get your copy of Perspective.

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