Brokenoff Brokenoff

Gallery R’Pure presented Brokenoff Brokenoff during New York Design Week that presented work inspired by the life and work of Tobias Wong, who tragically passed away last year.

Reflection by Brad Ascalon
Tobias Wong created ‘Mirror Puzzle’ in 2002 to reflect environment versus a static image. Its significance to me is one of continuity. Its subject will always change. It is never complete. ‘Reflection’ refers to continuity and incompleteness by signifying that a physical representation, while fleeting and temporary, is merely part of that which is remembered. Physicality fades, but impact, posterity and presence live on.

Tobias was a master of “breaking off” designed objects and making them his own. In that spirit, the angel that reveals itself behind the jigsaw puzzle is “borrowed” from a stained glass window designed by Louis Comfort Tiffany in the late 1800’s. ‘Reflection’ is made of opaque black glass and brass lead came, a nod to Tobi’s infatuation with gold plating.

Photo courtesy of Gallery R’Pure

Vase Of Phases by Dror Benshetrit
I met Tobi while I was working on one of my first products, the “Vase of Phases”. The project appealed to Tobi and he approached me about including it in the Terminal 5 show at JFK. I was excited about the opportunity, especially because I appreciated his work and his vision. I admired him as a designer, artist, and thinker. In this tribute to Tobi, the vase is a symbol for our first encounter, and plays homage to Tobi’s life as a phase.

Photo courtesy of Gallery R’Pure

Convex Concave by Stephen Burks
In memory of Tobias Wong, Stephen Burks has been inspired by Tobi’s paraconceptual shift of the classic Tiffany engagement ring to create “Convex Concave”. “Convex Concave”, formed from a single sheet of facetted mirror polished stainless steel, is a mirrored object that refracts and reflects the viewer’s image in two distinctly challenging ways. By collapsing the fragmented image of the viewer onto themselves, as well as opening it up to the world around them, “Convex Concave” is a meditative study on the fragility of identity, our relationship with ourselves and the world around us.

Call me or Copy me by Marc Thorpe
I was introduced to Tobias Wong in 2001. He handed me his plastic stencil business card and said “call me or copy me.” The business card was the essence of his design intention, to subvert the value of objects, challenge the definition of status and question originality. In reflection of his objectives as a designer and artist, I subvert Tobias’s personal business card, transforming it from plastic to gold.

Tobi’s Shit Was Brilliant by Joe Doucet
I met Tobias before I met Tobi. What I mean by that is that the work being produced by this brilliant light captivated me before I had the fortune to meet and eventually call him friend. His work was like a bolt from the blue. It’s difficult to understand now, as his way of looking at the world is so often imitated by those he influenced, but Tobi brought a unique perspective which challenged the way we think about design and will continue to do so. The project I chose was from his “Indulgences” series. It is a 24K gold leaf capsule which when you ingest will “turn your innermost parts into chambers of wealth.” Brilliant. One can only follow Tobi as he is always a far ahead, I decided to deal with the aftermath. After his process has transformed shit into gold, you may continue to indulge with hand sewn 2-ply silk toilet tissue. Black, of course, so that every last shimmer of his brilliance has a chance to shine.

Die by Frederick McSwain
On a New York City sidewalk, a stranger approached the chain-smoking Tobias Wong and asked if he may bum a cigarette. Wong’s sassy reply was, “well I don’t know…what do you have for me?” After rejecting a crumbled single and then engaging in a brief barter, Tobi agreed to trade a Marlboro for a cheap six-sided die which emerged from the pedestrian’s pocket. This narrative became the catalyst for“Die”. The title, borrowed from Tony Smith’s 1962 sculpture, alludes not only to the composition of plastic cubes but also to ideas of uncertainty, risk taking, and ultimately, life and death. The mosaic format references Wong’s early installation work, which commonly incorporated a large number of the same industrial product, transforming and questioning the individual element within a larger context. Through his work and life, Tobias Wong left a lasting impression on everyone and everything in his path. He lived for 13,138 days.

The Times Of New York Candle by Josee Lepage
The designer-artist Tobias Wong, who passed away in 2010, thought of himself more than anything, as an observer. One of his last concepts was “The Times of New York Candle”. Wong, saw the candle as both a tribute to the iconic newspaper and as a nostalgic commentary on printed media. To capture the olfactory essence of black ink on newsprint, a candle scent has been developed that would include guaiacwood, cedar, musk, spice and floral hints, with a powdery note and velvet nuance. The partners of Bondtoo, a new creative space in Manhattan, and Various Projects were close collaborators and friends of Wong’s. We have realized his “The Times of New York Candle” in an authorized, limited edition of 1000.

There’s Something About Giving In To Your Desires…, by David Weeks
As legend has it, Tobias Wong approached Jenny Holzer and asked her to sign his arm. Instead of a signature, she wrote: “Protect me from what I want.” Tobi then turned her quote into a permanent tattoo in the same spot where she wrote it. This temporary tattoo was created to honor Tobi in the same spirit, but with a quote of his own.

Secondhand Romance by Todd Bracher
For one to relish in their addiction.

Jaime Derringer, Founder + Executive Editor of Design Milk, is a Jersey girl living in SoCal. She dreams about funky, artistic jewelry + having enough free time to enjoy some of her favorite things—running, reading, making music, and drawing.