EXPLORING CHINESE AUSTRALIAN IDENTITY THROUGH CONTEMPORARY DESIGN – TAASA Review September 2019
Ann Toy L ast December, the exhibition Design Storyteller: The Work of Broached Commissions at the National Gallery of Victoria’s Ian Potter Centre was a moving reflection of Chinese Australian identity and history, narrated by contemporary design objects. Armillary Whiskey Bar, Naihan Li, Broached East collection, 2013.
Photo: Tony Law, courtesy of Lou Weiss, Broached Commissions Broached Commissions, a Melbourne-based design studio, was founded in 2011 by Lou Weiss and Vincent Aiello to operate as both a commercial gallery and a research-led design practice, with three founding core designers Adam Goodrum, Trent Jansen and Charles Wilson. Their thematic limited-edition collections have been inspired by complex and challenging subjects in Australian history, such as colonialism, the impact of Asian migration, national identity, multiculturalism, globalization, and Indigenous folklore. Each designer is expected to engage in a rigorous collaborative research and design process.
For the two inaugural collections, Broached Colonial and Broached East, creative director Lou Weiss and curator John McPhee talked about the art, and the social and industrial context of a specific period in Australian history, to help the designers develop a narrative framework to guide their work but not to clash with their individual sensibilities. Concept sketches are then developed and limited prototypes produced, high quality materials sourced and finally, master artisans engaged for the production stages both locally and overseas...