While the juxtaposition of cultures and artistic styles is nothing new, the Franz Collection has captured the genius embodied in the canvases of Vincent Van Gogh in a remarkable way.
Behind the Taiwanese firm is a German literature graduate, Francis “Franz” Chen, who has reinvented the venerable art of porcelain, mixing Tang Dynasty hues and Western Art Nouveau styling.
The pieces traverse time as well as space, bridging the gaps between Tang Dynasty and the 19th and 21st centuries, as well as the divide between East and West.
Working with artisans in Jingdezhen, the porcelain capital of China, and inspired by the work of the 19th-century impressionist, Franz has reconceptualized some of the artist’s most famous works in a special collaboration with the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, where the paintings reside.
Take Franz’s take on “The Courtesan”, a painting that fused impressionist stylings with Japanese ukiyo-e’, or woodblock prints–just a few years after Japan was opened to the West in 1865. Franz’s porcelain depicts the glamorous in a kimono, belt tied at the front instead of the back, depicting a courtesan. Frogs and swans also appear in the porcelain; the French words for the animals are also slang for prostitute. A three-dimensional facade enlivens Van Gogh’s work, giving the courtesan a confident poise.
Franz delivers a savvy visual study of Van Gogh, embodied in smooth glossy designs that conveying a hopeful sense of a tedious life. Intense shades and shapes strike a perfect visual rhythm with the rtist. See for yourself: In Jakarta, Franz Porcelains are available at MEDICI.