NGV has unveiled their latest exhibition Design Storytellers: The Work of Broached Commissions in which stories of Australian identity and history are being narrated through a vibrant display of design objects.

From Chen Lu’s lantern inspired by the life of female convict Mary Bryant, to a free-standing whisky bar designed by Naihan Li in response to the influx of Chinese migrant workers to the goldfields, this exhibition reveals design’s ability to engage with Australia’s history, mythology and the human condition.

Showcasing the work of renowned designers including Charles Wilson, Trent Jansen, Adam Goodrum, Max Lamb, John Warwicker and Ma Yangsong, the exhibition draws from the collection of Broached Commissions, a design production house that commissions designers to produce ambitious and finely crafted objects. Spanning ten years of design, in this first retrospective of Broached Commissions, the designers have responded to a research-based model to create limited-edition and one of a kind bespoke design objects.

Through a series of thematically rich collections, Broached Commissions has cemented a position that is unique in the world of Australian design. Each collection is anchored within an overarching creative framework providing a sounding board against which designers can propose works that must respond to a central narrative, binding the work together.

Los Angeles-based Korean artist, Mimi Jung’s never-seen-before set of glass objects, encapsulate her experiences of migration. Using glass casts of her weaving work which have been laser cut and fused back together, she has created large-scale glass works with voids that are symbolic of the disconnection that can be experienced with migration and assimilation.

Other highlights include Paludarium Shigelu by Japanese flower artist Azuma Makoto, exploring the complex relationship between Australia and Asia in the mid-to-late 19th century and a highly technical take on the 19th century Wardian Case, used for transporting rare living plants; and covered in sixty thousand hand-dyed toothpicks, Lucy McRae’s Prickly Lamp reflects on the colonial period, acting as a metaphor for the depravities of convict culture and responding to the harsh living conditions faced by convict women during this time.


Design Storytellers: The Work of Broached Commissions is FREE and on display until February 2019 at the Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia at Federation Square.


News in-post Banner | Yellowtrace


[Images courtesy of National Gallery of Victoria. Photography credits noted.]


About The Author

Team Yellowtrace

Team Yellowtrace is a small and highly dedicated bunch of cool kids who assist in the production of design stories, general admin and correspondence associated with each and every post. The team works tirelessly behind the scenes, providing invaluable support to the Editor In Chief. Extreme love and respect to the power of ten!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.