Food for Thought, WPP Amsterdam

Food for Thought is a collection of 35 iterations of takeaway boxes inspired by traditional delftware to provide commentary on modern-day consumerist culture. Designed by Acrylicize and hand-painted by London-based ceramicist Miyu Kurihara, this collaborative artwork shines a light on consumer behaviour to explore how subjective perceptions of value interact with our fast-paced ‘throwaway’ culture.

As a combination of two arms of Acrylicize’s business, ‘Create’ (bespoke creative interventions designed in-house) and ‘Curate’ (commissioning and collaboration with established and emerging artists), Food for Thought is the result of a unique, process-driven creative journey that seamlessly combines artists and creatives from various disciplines to execute something completely new, different and special.

Commissioned by international media company WPP for its new Amsterdam campus, Food for Thought is one in a series of site-specific artworks that uses notions of playfulness and satire to facilitate storytelling within the workspace. While researching potential executions for this piece, the studio decided to take inspiration from the legacy of Dutch craftsmanship to contextualise the work within its surroundings.

James Burke, Founder & Executive Creative Director comments

“When exploring the rich, cultural history of The Netherlands, we were immediately attracted to the elegance and status of delftware. To many it’s so ubiquitous that it’s invisible, resulting in its beauty often being overlooked. Fast-forward to the 21st Century and there is so much around us that is discarded and undervalued, especially when we consider the impact of single-use packaging waste on the environment.

This inspired us to celebrate the beauty in the everyday, by fusing this traditional Dutch craft with an iconic symbol of mass consumerism to bring our attention to what we consume, and how valuable these resources truly are.”

To bring this concept to life, Miyu Kurihara used her distinctive style inspired by her Japanese heritage to execute the work. Acrylicize’s Curator Chantelle Purcell, comments:

“When I first discovered Miyu’s work at the London Design Fair in 2018, I was struck by her intricate detail and aesthetic. Inspired by Japanese Kimono design, traditional Asian ceramics and European influences, her traditional blue and white porcelain married with her execution and ability to evoke narrative, made her the obvious choice to celebrate the concept. With this opportunity I wanted to select an artist that challenged the relationships we have with artifacts, shining a spotlight on craftsmanship, heritage, culture and belonging. 

This commission represents the perfect culmination of two arms of the business, ‘Create and Curate’, and sets Acrylicize apart from other creative studios, as we seek to provide artists with new opportunities and contexts for their work to be seen.” 

Food for Thought is a provocative work that seeks to disrupt the definitions that confine what art is, and how it can be viewed and consumed. Displayed in gallery format along the ground floor of the WPP Netherlands campus, the result is the elevation of these takeaway boxes to art pieces, worthy of display in the workplace and beyond.

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Click here to find out more about the full scheme for WPP Amsterdam.

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