Better Look Down



STORY BY Barbara Hahijary PHOTO BY Bagus Tri Laksono

A deer head hanging on a wall is but a decorative element, but with his creativity and fine materials, Indonesian architect Cosmas Gozali managed to transform it into an artwork that is functional as it is visually captivating. An artwork holds the power to beautify a room all the while triggering our thoughts and evoking our emotions. Case in point is Cosmas’ deer head turned coffee table, which also manages to have us ponder about our individual walks of life.

Cosmas Gozali is well known for his design works in numerous locations. His works are always remarkable and often find themselves at the centre of attention. His designs carry a certain signature, one that helps us identify his works at a glance. Attracted by this distinct style, KARE Design concept store invited him, Marsio Fine Art Gallery and ISA Art Advisory, to create the Kreative Kollab series. Other artists too, participated in the collaborative movement aimed for charity, but while they are occupied with the aesthetics side of things, Cosmas was determined to create a functional artwork. Regardless, the creative mind didn’t strive for the deer head to be useful at the expense of its aesthetics. He implemented the concept “Snow in Sahara” to decorate it. He enamoured the deer antlers and eyes with Swarovski crystals, matched with illuminated beads on the base pad to represent the snow. The head is coated in matte orange paint, which is a visual representation of anything hot, passionate, and natural. We may not be able to find this deer head immediately if we walk into the room with heads tilted up, expecting to find it hanging on a wall. Quite the opposite, it’s rather hidden, hanging upside down underneath the perched canopy of Cosmas highly unmissable coffee table. The unique bedazzled deer is one thing, but having a reflecting beam supporting a canopy above a coffee table is definitely out of the ordinary. It’s attractive and indisputably makes a statement furniture piece. Fortunately, there is no need for heads to tilt or bodies to bend forward to catch a glimpse of the artwork; a mirror sits at the base of the coffee table, reflecting the head in its entirety for viewers to enjoy. It was a huge question why Cosmas turned it upside down. We would naturally still make the effort to tilt our heads to see what’s under the canopy rather than just looking at the deer head’s reflection in the mirror. Firstly, the artwork adopts the nature of most treasures: hidden. Cosmas also considered how many people ‘look up’, which consequently fills them with jealousy, fear, doubt, arrogance and at times, unrealistic ambition. Meanwhile, life begs them to look down. He elaborated his perception of looking down as an expression of gratitude for what we have, a position of prayer, and the compassion to help those in need. It also refers to how we trace back to our origins, as we all grow from the ground up. At a glance it might be ironic to be talking about gratitude and contentment considering the use of lavish Swarovski beads but Cosmas argued he has been receiving all the best things in life, and that because the project is for charity, he should only share the best things for those in need.

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Barbara Hahijary
Barbara earned her bachelor's degree in architecture from the Interior Architecture Program of the University of Indonesia in 2013. Historical or heritage buildings, as well as utilitarian design, fascinates her as it is the interaction between people and architecture that remains her favourite topic to explore. Besides architecture, her interests include design, handcrafts, literature and social issues.

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