PITCH ZINE #001
Anny Wang's surrealistic artworks draw together seemingly disparate, mundane objects and places them together in a glossy hyper spatial 3D world. This clashing approach to her art manifests itself somewhat during our interview. I lean in close to my laptop speakers to make out Wang's softly spoken voice as a swirling Brisbane storm relieves me from a barrage of humidity and heat. Meanwhile, it's a dark icy winter's morning in Copenhagen, where Wang is sitting in her studio. 'It's so cold. Every year, you think it will not be so bad, but then it comes and you realise that you are not prepared.'
It's a rare moment of quiet for the busy spatial/furniture designer and visual artist who was able to put aside some time for our chat before starting work. On top of working full time as a product designer for an interior architect design studio, she is also highly in demand for her otherworldly 3D illustrations. Opening Ceremony and Nasty Gal are just a few impressive brands that have commissioned the artist to create an exclusive series of illustrations.
Using a software program called MODO, discovered during her studies at HDK School of Design and Crafts in Gothenburg, Wang renders textures, geometric shapes, and iridescent surfaces. The results are dreamy pastel landscapes--part surrealist's playground, part 90s beach house. 'I have influences from so many things--it could be a memory from childhood, I could jump through history into ancient Greece or Art Deco. But, I'm also working towards something very futuristic.'
During her studies, Wang changed tack to create a three-piece furniture collection entitled Akin Collection and it comprised of the Float Shelf, the Sway Cabinet, and the Orbit Side Table. The collection highlights the importance of contrasts and how they can complement and accentuate features. 'The Akin Collection was by Bachelor thesis project at school,' explains Wang. 'I wanted to explore a wide range of materials and how they connect together in the same piece, within the entire collection, and within a spacial room. The ambition with the design is to attract interaction and, through the experience of the collection, contribute to a broader view of what relationships between objects might be. The collection is very personal to me as I physically built the pieces by hand. I'm actually really impressed with myself for working out how to do this!'
Wang's creative exploration crosses boundaries in a truly contemporary way. And, despite her differing fields, her pieces all still make sense as a whole. 'I enjoy both illustration and object design equally. They are actually very similar creatively and are touch each other's fields. Sometimes it's nice to do something that you can physically touch. But, then again, I love that in illustration you are not limited by gravity or anything "real". I feel I get a very broad range of pleasing things working in both these fields,' says Wang. 'An unavoidable satisfaction lies in the realisation of my ideas. That I could have an image, feeling, or sense in my mind and am able to channel it and create something that symbolises it. I also love the feeling of having limitless possibilities to do whatever I want.'
For her latest 3D series, Wang diverges from creating a complete scene to explore a set of lava lamps. Through the combination of opalescent globules, textured marble, and reflective surfaces, Wang explores these nostalgic items in a new way. 'I really love lava lamps and I think they are something that many people can relate to in either a good or bad way. For me, they jump me right back to my childhood and I also wanted to make a tribute to this. The lava lamp also has his mysterious element. Most people don't know how it works, even me! I'm drawn to the liquid shapes, the iridescence, the mystery... I wanted to see how I could recreate all of this with unexpected materials.'
Having grown up in Sweden, Wang only just recently made the move to Denmark this summer. Although both her furniture collection and her illustrations bear some of the clean lines and stylish finish that Scandinavian design is well known for, there is a distinct otherness that is difficult to pinpoint. When quizzed on this, Wang laughs self-consciously. 'It's hard to say. I grew up in a... not very stylish home. My parents are from China, but I grew up in Sweden. Swedish homes are often very good looking, but mine was very kitsch,' says Wang. 'My father put plastic on everything! There was a mix of Chinese and other influences. My parents would keep up Christmas lights all year round. It was horrible! But maybe that is something that influenced me subconsciously. I do mix a lot of styles and I'm not afraid to do something really bold.'
The storm settles to a light drizzle as our interview comes to a close. Rays of sunshine burst through the grey skies creating jagged shadows on what appears to be an alien landscape. I'm sure Anny would approve.
Printed in the PITCH ANNUAL #001 in 2015. PITCH Zine is now defunct.