IKEA Art Event 2019: Collectible rugs by designers Virgil Abloh, Craig Green and more to be released in May

IKEA Art Event 2019: Collectible rugs by designers Virgil Abloh, Craig Green and more to be released in May

Take the floor

Text: Aravin Sandran

Men's artistic director at Louis Vuitton and founder of the fashion label Off-White, Virgil Abloh's IKEA-collab rug has been teasing hypebeasts the world over since mid-2018. Made of a wool-nylon composition and retailing at $499, what looks like a standard Persian rug from the IKEA catalogue is emblazoned with "KEEP OFF" in all-caps across the centre while "Almhult, Sweden" — the birthplace of the first IKEA store — is stamped at a corner. "I wanted an ironic take on the traditional attitude to furnishing where the living room is not just a showroom, not somewhere you sit. The parental 'don't ruin the furniture' kind of thing I think has really impacted how younger people think of furniture today", explained the design maverick.

While most of the hype has surrounded Abloh, he is, in fact, one of eight leading artists and designers who have been enlisted to design a contemporary rug for the fifth IKEA Art Event. All in wool or natural materials (only one is machine-woven), some of the art rugs were handmade by craftsmen in India and Egypt in stark contrast to IKEA's usual made-in-China assembly line production.

"With this rug, I was interested in exploring the idea of paradise, of escaping reality. Of making a portal or doorway to transport us to somewhere better", explained British fashion designer Craig Green. Possibly referencing his tropical-infused spring 2018 collection, his parrot motif flatwoven rug measures at 175cm by 200cm and will retail for $299.

"Inspired by spring time scenes in the deserts of the American Southwest, the colour blocks, squiggles, daubs, dots of this rug invite people of all ages to sprawl out, daydream and get lost discovering little moments of play and tactility", said Chiaozza, which consists of American artist duo Adam Frezza and Terri Chao who work across a range of media including painted sculpture, installation, collage and photography. Their low pile wool rug will retail for $599.

"With this dhurrie, I wanted to bring the light of water inside. I thought of Northern Indian artisans, the city of Ayodhya, ancient Korean Queen Heo Hwang-ok and, above all, the power of colours. Let's be happy. As happy as fish in water", said Korean-French artist Seulgi Lee. Her flatwoven abstract rug will retail for $499.

The fifth IKEA Art Event featuring eight limited edition rugs by Virgil Abloh, Craig Green, Filip Pagowski, Misaki Kawai, Noah Lyon, Chiaozza, Supakitch and Seulgi Lee will drop on 9 May at IKEA Tampines in very limited quantities.

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