Ron Arad’s Cage Sans Frontier and the Singapore FreePort – Fine arts and design have been entangled with one another since the early days. A long lasting love story featuring excellence in craftsmanship and mastering of materials. On the edge of this trend the Israeli-born industrial designer Ron Arad has been setting the stage for decades. From the iconic 1981 “Rover Chair” to the sculptural landmark of the 2010 “Holon Design Museum” in Israel, Arad’s work has always blurred the boundaries between architecture, sculpture, engineering and design.

Article by Stefania Anna Mangano

Arad is more than just alchemist and furniture designer rolled into one –as the veteran art market journalist Brook S.Mason wrote.


“As an architect (he trained at the Bezalel Academy of Art in Jerusalem and at London’s Architectural Association School of Architecture), he also turns out buildings. The flagship store for Japanese designer Yohji Yamamoto is a must see.”


With a recognisable admiration towards Duchamp and the Dada artists, Ron Arad’s satirical vision of design can be traced back to the fundamentals of the European avant-garde artistic movement. His breakthrough with the “Rover Chair” was a deliberate wink to Duchamp’s ready-mades, which also defined his creative intention for future works.

ron arad, cage sans frontieres, singapore freeport

An industrial designer with art collectors appeals, whose work are chased by the best auction houses worldwide, Ron Arad can also boast numerous museums retrospectives on his portfolio. Among others, the solo exhibition “Ron Arad: No Discipline” (August 2 – October 19, 2009) at the Museum of Modern Art in New York is known for featuring a multi-purpose and multimillion sculpture commissioned by the Swiss art impresario Yves Bouvier.


The MoMA exhibited Cage Sans Frontier (Cage without Borders) is a monumental ark-shaped sculpture imagined as a display for his collections of chairs and design works. At the time of Arad’s New York exhibition, the 126.5 feet long, 16 feet high mirror-finish tempered steel structure was already been promised to be permanently hosted at the Singapore FreePort, the exclusive storage unit owned by Bouvier.


“Yves had commissioned a sculpture for the Singapore FreePort and the museum show was in the works” says Arad.


But the majestic see-through fabric of Cage Sans Frontier is more then a two birds with one stone operation; it is the quintessential of Arad lifetime artistic repertoire. A Corten and stainless steel orthogonal grids which encloses all the signature features of Ron Arad timeless style and personality: it attest Arad’s mastery of materials as for the glutinous edges of his 1986 “Well Tempered Chair” by Vitra, it recalls the playful silhouette of the 1993 “Bibliothèque Bookworm” bookshelf for Kartell, and it develops the hypnotic features of the 1999 “Tom Roll” Chair also by Vitra.


As a pantagruelic storyteller, the Cage allusive framework now occupies the Singapore Freeport hall like a vision towards the infinity, holding beautifully the character of this unique space. The metal surface of the Cage glitters under the glaring Led installation of artist Johanna Grawunder who entirely curated the lighting of Singapore FreePort interiors and extiriors. An immersive experience for a temple of excellence and exclusiveness.


The professional and creative encounter between Bouvier and Arad marked the opening of what it is claimed to be the world’s safest storage unit for valuable commodities, on the shores of Singapore busy harbour. The Singapore FreePort (or Le Freeport) is a one of its kind storage facility founded by the Swiss entrepreneur to provide a bespoke service to an exclusive clientele.


The three stories high, 30,000 square meter highly engineered warehouse structure of the Singapore Freeport shields its treasures while creating the perfect environment for arts and patron to meet. Just to mention that the historic British auction house Christie’s took a space in the facility says a lot about the services offered by the FreePort. Each element of the FreePort has been closely curated by Bouvier: from the fire-resistant walls, coiled through with steel, to the height of the doors: three metres, to admit the largest contemporary installations. “I chose everything,” he said. “The door handles. I’m obsessive about that.”

ron arad, cage sans frontieres, singapore freeport

Attention to details together with fine handcraft techniques is indeed a distinguish feature of all iconic design and also the secret ingredient of Ron Arad’s career.


“The details are not the details. They make the design” as the great master of design Charles Eames once said.


Sure enough, the details beneath some of the most impressive Arad metal and steel works, hold the signature of a silent partner, the Italian steel haute couture workshop Marzorati Ronchetti. Cage Sans Frontier itself, the Holon Design Museum’s twisted steel sand-coloured dune ribbons, and the millennium Rocker Chair are just some of Arad’s work created in collaboration with the Italian metal manufacturer.


Founded in 1922 in the Northern heart of Italian artisan and industrial district, Marzorati Ronchetti has been responsible for the production of stainless steel installations for some of the most renewed names in arts, architecture and design. Ron Arad, Lord Norman Foster, Mario Bellini, Antonio Citterio, Thomas Heatherwick, Peter Marino, John Pawson, Italo Rota, Adam Tihany just to mention few.


Arad collaboration with craftsmen and industrial manufacturers, his belief in teamwork, and his thought-provoking interest in new materials and technologies are the ingredients that make Ron Arad volumes timeless and groundbreaking, with a twin-track career described as continually moving back and forth between mass production and one-offs. Arad works are indeed some of the most celebrated contemporary design, already writing some of the most hypnotic pages of arts and design history.

Ron Arad的“无边界”(Cage Sans Frontier)和新加坡自由港(Singapore FreePort – Fine arts and design)自成立之初就一直纠缠在一起。一个以精湛的工艺和掌握材料的特色而持久爱情故事。为这故事奠定基础的以色列出生的工业设计师Ron Arad几十年来一直处在它的最前沿。从1981年标志性的“Rover椅”到2010年以色列“Holon Design Museum”的雕塑地标, Arad的作品就一直在模糊建筑、雕塑、工程和设计之间的界限。

Article by Stefania Anna Mangano / Translation by Amber Durrant Feng Yulin

如资深艺术记者Brook s . Mason所写的那样, Ron Arad不仅仅是一位冶炼师和家具设计师。“作为一名建筑师(他曾在耶路撒冷的Bezalel艺术学院(Bezalel Academy of Art)和伦敦建筑协会建筑学院(Architecture Association School of Architecture)学习),他发现了建筑。他设计的日本设计师Yohji Yamamoto的旗舰店是必看的。”


借对杜尚和达达艺术家们的赞赏, Ron Arad设计的讽刺风格可以追溯到对欧洲前卫艺术运动的基本原理。他与“罗孚椅”的突破,是对杜尚的ready-mades的刻意回应,这也决定了他未来作品的创作意图。

ron arad, cage sans frontieres, singapore freeport

为一名工业设计师,他的作品得到艺术收藏家的喜爱和被世界顶级拍卖行所追捧,许多博物馆举办他的作品的回顾展。其中就包括了由瑞士艺术经理人伊夫·布维耶创作的“Ron Arad: No Discipline”(2009年8月2日- 2009年10月19日)在纽约现代艺术博物馆展出的多功能雕塑个人作品展。


MoMA展出的“无边界“ 是一个柜子形状的纪念碑雕塑,是想象中为展示他收藏的椅子和设计作品。在Arad的纽约展览会上,他的126.5英尺长,16英尺高的镜面钢化钢制结构的雕塑作品已经被承诺在新加坡自由港Bouvier独家拥有的存储空间永久地展出。

个宏伟透明编织无边界的笼子的雕塑作品,不仅是一箭双雕,更集结了Arad一生的艺术精髓。用corter和不锈钢正交网格,雕塑包含了Ron Arad永恒风格和个性的所有特征为特点的,它证明了Arad对材料出神入化的掌控,就像他1986年的“好脾气的椅子“一样,它让人想起1993年Kartell的“图书馆书虫”书架上的有趣剪影,以及1999年开发的具有的催眠功能的“Tom Roll ”椅子。

无边界笼式的雕塑框架占据了新加坡自由港大厅的空间,像在述說一个探索无限视觉的故事,将这个独特的空间完美地呈现出来。在艺术家Johanna Grawunder耀眼的Led灯光设计下,作品笼子的金属表面闪闪发光,配合自由港内部和外部的照明,给人一种完美和身临其境的体验。

Bouvier和Arad之间的专业和创意相遇使这个建立在繁忙口岸的新加坡自由港被认为是世界上最安全的存储空间。新加坡自由港(或Le FreePort)是由瑞士企业家创办, 专门为全球的客户提供私人服务成了为各国超级富豪们独特 “藏宝”的理想地点。

三层楼高3万平方米的新加坡自由港精心设计的仓库结构,为艺术和赞助人提供了一个完美的环境。值得一提的是,英国历史悠久的拍卖行佳士得(Christie ‘ s)也在此占据了一席之地,因此可见新加坡自由港的地位。 自由港的每一个元素都是Bouvier的精心策划:从用钢卷起来的防火墙壁到高达三米的门,来呈现这个最大的当代装置艺术。“我亲自选择了一切,包括门的把手”他说。

ron arad, cage sans frontieres, singapore freeport

细节的关注和精细的手工技术确实是Ron Arad所有代表性设计的特色,也是他事业成功的秘密。

毫无疑问,这些令人印象深刻的Arad金属和钢铁作品细节,就要提到他的一个合作伙伴,意大利高级钢铁定制工作室Marzorati Ronchetti。无边界,Holon设计博物馆扭曲的钢和彩色的沙丘带,世纪摇椅是Arad与Marzorati Ronchetti工作室合作的一部分作品。


正如伟大的设计大师Charles Eames曾经说过的那样 “设计就是关注每一个细节”。


Marzorati Ronchetti成立于1922年位于意大利北部的艺术中心和工业区,与Ron Arad,Norman Foster,Mario Bellini,Antonio Citterio,Thomas Heatherwick,Peter Marino,John Pawson,Italo Rota,Adam Tihany这些著名的设计师合作与生产了一些在艺术、建筑和设计中最具名气的设计。


Arad他相信与手工艺者和工业制造商的团队合作,以及他对新材料和新技术的引人深思的兴趣,让Ron Arad的作品具有开创性及永恒的元素,他的双重职业生涯使他可以在大规模生产和一次性产品之间不断地来回游移。Arad的一些作品确实是当代最著名的设计,他已经在艺术和设计历史上写下了让人沉迷的一笔。

ron arad, cage sans frontieres, singapore freeport
ron arad, cage sans frontieres
ron arad, cage sans frontieres