● finding a balance
a review on the egg rack made a disclaimer by graham baldwin, 2021 february
an alternative name for this project could be finding a balance. balance being the new position of the egg after interacting with it and before it falling off and breaking. this balance doesn’t describe the initial position, but a new position unique to the visitor who has interacted with it, almost a negotiation between their touch and the egg holder. this narrative describes balance in terms of stability and integrity; qualities that may be more immediate to the eye. however, balance also means making two elements equal or proportionate to each other. perhaps this definition is most interesting when thinking about the egg and the egg holder or when thinking about contemplation and action.
exploring the realm of vulnerability through a medium as delicate as an egg, weighed against the precariousness of a rocking device, a paper thin metal arch or suspended acrylic disks for holding them; the project moves beyond an experiment with physics and makes qualities of value, care and sensitivity more apparent. when trying to find a balance with an object designed to move, the moment of interaction and exchange becomes much more intentional or personal. exchange in this case ranges from an exchange of sight to an exchange or force or pressure or touch; movements that relate more to relationships or getting to know someone. in thinking about the egg holders this way, they begin to serve more as a tool of measurement, to measure the limits of the visitor, their contemplations, movements and subtitles or lack thereof. it also suggests that deciding to study at distance or recklessly pushing the egg holders past their foreseeable limits says something else.
there is of course an element of intuition, of scale, of resistance, or even a visible limit between the egg in its stationary position and its fulcrum. what can be seen is designed. however, liang-jung chen is interested in the invisible; the interactions, thresholds, boundaries and subsequently alternative functions for the objects beyond imagination. by reversing the function of an egg holder from an object designed to protect, to an object designed to endanger; she raises much broader questions about use, intention and value both within the world of design and outside, both personal and collective.
with these principles in mind, the disclaimer no longer really warns visitors against breaking eggs and replacing them, but serves as a reminder to their own actions and reflection on the world around them. we are offered an opportunity to engage with a foreign object cradling something delicate and familiar and are given some clues as to how these holders may work. we can observe their details, principles, materials, and our intuition forms suggestions on how these new objects could behave, their gestures, expressions and so on. we want to learn more, what they mean, how they function, move, their forgiveness and overtime their limits. it’s not about knowing everything, but finding a balance.