The annual LOEWE Craft Prize has selected 30 finalists for their 2018 edition.
The LOEWE FOUNDATION launched the annual prize in 2016 to showcase and celebrate excellence, artistic merit and newness in modern craftsmanship.
It aims to acknowledge the importance of craft in today’s culture and recognise working artisans whose talent, vision and will to innovate will set a standard for the future.
For this years edition, a panel of 11 experts convened in Madrid for two days to review all presented works and select the shortlist. The panels criteria was to identify the most outstanding work in terms of technical accomplishment, innovation and artistic vision.
All who have been shortlisted are recognised as having made fundamentally important contributions to the development of contemporary craft.
The spectrum of the submitted work is diverse, all kinds of craft techniques and media are welcome to participate and the finalists range from all stages of career, from recently graduated to well-known names, from ages of 27 to 76.
ARKO (Japan) is using fragrant rice straw, a material that is getting lost in the national identity, using each straw as the line of a drawing to create wall decorations. He manages to rejuvenate an ordinary and almost forgotten material to create contemporary design that connects us with nature a sense of Japanese culture.
The concept of cultural heritage and identity is also part of Rita Soto’s (Chile) work who created a series of jewelry using traditional Chilean horsehair micro-basketry. The very delicate and organically shaped pieces inform about cultural inheritance, which is transferred not just through objects but held within us.
All finalists show an excellence in mastering their chosen materials. There is Ashley YK Yeo (Singapore
) who exquisitely hand-cuts paper sculptures, Takeshi Yasuda (United Kingdom) who submitted a bowl made of porcelain, qingbai glaze, and colloidal gold that combined appears like a liquid droplet.
Further there are various celebrations of textured surfaces and sculpted reliefs: there is tactile bench by Julian Watts’ (United States) made of maple wood and Wycliffe Stutchbury’s (United Kingdom) undulating shingled wooden screen made of various found timbers. Using reclaimed cotton strips Simone Pheulpin (France) transforms the cloth into a sculpture akin to a prehistoric fossil. And Richard McVetis (United Kingdom) uses cotton and wool to contrast markings by unstructured stitching on 60 geometrically arranged cubes.
All names of the finalists are listed below. The jury of 10 leading figures from the world of design, including Ernst Gamperl, winner of the 2017 LOEWE Craft Prize, will select the winner of the 2018 LOEWE Craft Prize. The prize awarded to the winner is 50,000 Euros in cash and the announcement will be made on 3 May 2018, at the opening event of the LOEWE Craft Prize 2018 special exhibition at the Design Museum, London.
All work will be exhibited at The Design Museum, London from 04 May – 17 June 2018.
The selected finalists for the LOEWE Craft Prize 2018 are (in alphabetical order, with nationality):
Paul Adie (United Kingdom)
Gunilla Maria Åkesson (Sweden)
Yeonsoon Chang (Republic of Korea)
Min Chen (China)
Hae Cho Chung (Republic of Korea)
Steffen Dam (Denmark)
Sam Tho Duong (Germany)
Sara Gackowska (Poland)
Ann van Hoey (Belgium)
Joe Hogan (Ireland)
Marie Janssen (Austria)
Joonyong Kim (Republic of Korea)
Christopher Kurtz (United States)
Takuro Kuwata (Japan)
Jennifer Lee (United Kingdom)
Deirdre McLoughlin (Ireland)
Richard McVetis (United Kingdom)
Simone Pheulpin (France)
Irina Razumovskaya (Russian Federation)
Aneta Regel (United Kingdom)
Ryuhei Sako (Japan)
Rita Soto (Chile)
Laurenz Stockner (Italy)
Wycliffe Stutchbury (United Kingdom)
Mercedes Vicente (Spain)
Julian Watts (United States)
Takeshi Yasuda (United Kingdom)
Ashley YK Yeo (Singapore)
Shohei Yokoyama (Japan)
Jonathan Anderson, LOEWE Creative Director
Ernst Gamperl, Winner of the LOEWE Craft Prize 2017
Rosy Greenlees, President of the World Crafts Council
Toshiyuki Kita, Furniture and product designer
Enrique Loewe, LOEWE Foundation Honorary President
Hong Nam-Kim, Former Director of the National Museum of Korea
Deyan Sudjic, Essayist and Director of the Design Museum, London
Benedetta Tagliabue, Architect and Pritzker Prize Jury Member
Patricia Urquiola, Architect and Industrial Designer
Anatxu Zabalbeascoa (Chairwoman), architecture and design correspondent for El País
Please visit loewecraftprize.com for all details and exclusive quotes on why craft matters.
Photography credits by LOEWE FOUNDATION