Nothing in Particular, Particular in Everything: Ana Kras’s Bonbon Lamps

Nothing in Particular, Particular in Everything: Ana Kras’s Bonbon Lamps

Ana Kras is an agent of many creative expressions; designer, photographer, model, et cetera. But there aren’t many things to talk about her work per se. They are all painfully mediocre; and I don’t mean that in a negative sense. There is a comfortable charm in her personality, that is so often reflected in her work. And that is beautiful. It sets her apart.  It does not seek your attention like it needs fame. It rather draws you in gently – to the comfort of the familiar, to the warmth and the certitude of all things serene and safe.

All her work is remarkable in that sense – but her Bonbon lamps, in particular, is something that I find worth writing about.

These Bonbon lamps are basically cotton yarn wrapped around a metal frame. They are woven meticulously by hand; shifting shade as the thread is tediously spun around the frame, like lines in a sketch. All variations of these lamps sit uniformly with one another. And yet, they are all uniquely different – being single-handedly made by hand. The colours vary to what Kras ‘feels like.’[1] And shading differs according to her whim. But there is something about such spontaneity in Kras’s approach which is primal but elegant; and yet, altogether – authentically human. But apart from my own philosophical musings over her work, it is also quite interesting to hear her own reasons for her interest in these lamps. I quote, “I always think about lamps in this way that they are around all day long – but you need light only when it gets dark. And then, a lamp with the light turned off is an object – like any other object, like a sofa or a chair. I do like that difference between on and off.[2]

I am reminded of what Liam Gallagher said about music before the release of his first solo album. He said, “I’m not here to change… rock’n’roll… There’s so much change in the world… I think it’s nice to know you can rely on me. I like certain things to stay the… same.”[3] Indeed, there is so much change happening in the world; and change is good. Especially, we of this age are taught to ride the change – chase our dreams; pursue self-fulfillment at any cost. These are great ideals modernity has taught us. We should live it. But we should not forget the equally wonderful mundane that holds this crazy life together; our mother, our father, our siblings, our immediate community. Like the Bonbon lamps, they light up when it is dark; like the Bonbon lamps, they comfort us when we’re home. I bet it is always wonderful to know, expect, and persevere for some things to stay the same. Because of the beauty of familiarity, such a mundane counterpart of life does not limit comfort – but it also makes us truly unique. The world will know you for what you do. They will celebrate you for your success. But only those who put your life together will know you for who you are. The crazy life may bring you recognition. But it is only the mundane that brings you happiness.

When Kras was asked, ‘How do you see yourself in like 10 years?’ She answered, “I can’t imagine that far, but I like to think of myself (as) being happy.”[4] I guess that sums up the simplicity of her ambition; something that I find quite refreshing in an artist. Ana Kras is indeed that beautiful spectrum of excellence – that has graced us without seeking or striving for attention. What a remarkable feat to achieve.

[1] Suzanne Lovell, https://suzannelovellinc.com/blog/bonbon-lamps-exude-joy-their-shape-and-fun-colors/

[2] Design Talk: HAY Bonbon Shade by designer Ana Kras, Nestcouk YouTube, https://youtu.be/7JwGckOT9fk

[3] Alexis Petridis, The Guardian, https://www.theguardian.com/music/2018/feb/19/liam-gallagher-brits-noel-german-police-pulled-teeth-pliers

[4] Florencia Serrot Geminelli, Smart Volta Living, https://smartvolta.com/interviews/a-talk-with-ana-kras-about-her-bonbon-lamps/

Matheus Yuhlung

Matheus Yuhlung is a doctoral fellow in the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi. He currently resides in New Delhi, India.

This Post Has One Comment

  1. Haojam Chingkheinganba Meetei

    Nice write up Matheus brother! Looking forward to reading more of your writings in the upcoming weeks. 💟🌾

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