Memphis Exhibition

Ettore Sottsass, Nathalie du Pasquier, Michele de Lucchi, Marco Zanini, Masanori Umeda

3 – 24 September 2022

G/F, 197 Hollywood Road, Hong Kong

Memphis Exhibition

An exhibition of works by the Memphis Group. The Memphis Group was an Italian design movement founded by Ettore Sottsass in 1981 alongside Michele de Lucchi, Aldo Cibic, Matteo Thun, Marco Zanini, Martine Bedin, Nathalie Du Pasquier, and George Sowden. Active between 1981 and 1988, the Memphis Group defined ‘80s aesthetic and greatly revolutionised the design world.

Memphis sought to rebel against the ‘uniform panorama of good taste’ of the time, where the principle ‘form follows function’ reigned supreme. With Memphis, design has been liberated from rationality, and enters the realm of poetry. Form no longer had to follow function. Design could be loud, colourful, whimsical, with clashing patterns. Objects were liberated from function and instead became a visual object rather than just a tool or piece of furniture.

The pieces shown by the Memphis Group and their international collaborators were shocking: mixing elegance and kitsch, playing with absurd and irrational shapes, using plastic laminates with patterns that simulate precious materials, but most of all it introduced the pleasure of play into the rational language of industrial production. Love it or hate it, it rapidly amassed public and press attention worldwide, and came to define the aesthetics of the ‘80s. More importantly, it expanded the boundaries of design, emphasizing the expressive possibilities of design as a vehicle of communication, rather than just one of utilitarian function.

SELECTED WORKS