The perfect beauty of mathematical harmonies has fascinated humankind since Antiquity, but our computer age is particularly capable of unfolding the infinite richness of nature before our eyes, like an origami. Indeed, by zooming in and by modulation, Fenhann transforms complex geometrical principles into stunning sculptural forms. The origami-inspired “Hikari lamps” (“Hikari” means light in Japanese) are all polyhedrons constructed of almost paper-thin Oregon pine veneer only 1.8 mm thick. The first Hikari lamps were made in 2004, and the following year the Danish Designmuseum opened a solo exhibition for these works, entitled Aero. Since then, Fenhann has been developing complex variations of these lamps as well as the lightweight table-sculpture “Kubo” from 2007.
To a large degree Fenhann’s work represents the aristocratic quality of delicate handmade cabinetmaking expressed by the Japanese term Sashimono (指物). His work is guided by the same principles of simplicity, repetition and respect for wood as a living material. His painstakingly precise treatment of wood surfaces, ending up in a velvet-like, soft finish and with invisible joints, is the result of an extraordinary effort, which is both mental and physical. It is absolutely exquisite, close to obsessive. In the Japanese aesthetic tradition, unlike the European, there is no separation between the work of the mind and the hand. The fact that Fenhann rejects the idea of an assistant and produces all his pieces himself in small limited editions can be seen in this holistic perspective. He does not work with the industry either. As the hand and the mind form a single spiritual bond, there is a kind of unique and non-transmittable type of work at stake here.
Creating designs with an equal focus on sculptural and functional qualities, Rasmus Fenhann’s works are made in carefully selected natural materials, especially wood. He is considered as one of the most important Scandinavian designers today in the field of handmade art design. His working processes combines traditional, sometimes near-forgotten craft techniques with advanced high-tech procedures, including computer based sketching and visualisation. His painstakingly precise treatment of wood surfaces, ending up in a velvet-like, soft finish and with invisible joints, is the result of an extraordinary effort, which is both mental and physical. It is exquisite craftsmanship, close to the obsessive. In the words of the artist, “It has to do with being able to zoom in, infinitely… There mustn’t be any flaws, not even the tiniest, in the delicate woodwork. Time is key, and infinite repetition is expected until a level of breathtaking perfection is reached.”