Arts Preview Singapore

Voilah! 2019: NO TASTE FOR BAD TASTE, so Starck, so Bouroullec… so le French Design


Renowned design exhibition, NO TASTE FOR BAD TASTE, so Starck, so Bouroullec… so le French Design, will begin its run in Singapore from 12 October to 16 November 2019, showcasing the best of French design as part of Voilah! France Singapore Festival. The exhibition at the National Design Centre (NDC) epitomises the elegance of French design through a line-up of over 40 masterpieces by acclaimed and beloved design maestros.

Created by Le French Design by VIA in collaboration with Institut français to celebrate 40 years of continued support for design, the travelling exhibition has met with resounding success since its 2017 debut in Milan. It has since exhibited in more than 10 cities, including Los Angeles, Buenos Aires, Tokyo, Hong Kong, and Venice. Singapore will be its only Southeast Asian stop. 

Says President of VIA, Bernard Reybier: “Good design is universal, and French design thinking has a special place on the international stage with its demonstration of cutting edge creativity while staying true to the values that define it. Beyond aesthetics, we hope the exhibition and its 40 iconic pieces will offer valuable insight into the essence of French design, while allowing both established and up-and-coming designers to share these powerful perspectives with the rest of the world.”

Said Ms Yeo Piah Choo, Director, International Relations, DesignSingapore Council, “We are delighted to be partnering Embassy of France in Singapore on Voilah!  for the fourth time which affirms the strong ties that exist between Singapore and France. We are excited that the exhibition will feature over 40 iconic French design masterpieces, which will give visitors to the NDC a fascinating look into French design at its finest. It is wonderful that NO TASTE FOR BAD TASTE will also highlight works produced by Nathan Yong, one of Singapore’s most celebrated industrial designer, for Ligne Roset. We hope that this will spark off many more of such partnerships between Singapore designers and French brands.”

Beyond its role as a stepping stone for French designers to share their work with the global audience, NO TASTE FOR BAD TASTE also serves as a platform to showcase French innovation and inspire wider audiences with a melting pot of cultural heritage and creativity. The exhibition is the brainchild of a think tank comprising 40 celebrated and rising international figures in the design scene, including French designers Christian Liaigre, Pierre Yovanovitch, matali crasset, Italian curator of the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York Paola Antonelli and Indian product designer Gunjan Gupta.

The 40 design works, selected by the members of the think tank, exemplify these values in the exhibition, with each object embodying one of the ten values. As such, these 21st century pieces, designed by or for notable names such as Philippe Starck, Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec, Ligne Roset, Fermob, Hermès and Roche Bobois are signature representations of French design at its finest. To present these objects, fashion designer and member of the think tank Jean Charles Castelbajac, designed the exhibition scenography and organised them into individual tents representing the different design values. Specially for its run in Singapore, the exhibition will also host additional pieces by acclaimed fabric design company, Pierre Frey, and furniture designer, Gautier. 

To lend a unique local perspective to French design and highlight the cross cultural exchanges between French and Singaporean design, the exhibition in Singapore will also feature an exclusive collaboration with award-winning Singaporean industrial designer Nathan Yong. Winner of the prestigious Red Dot Concept Design Award and Singapore President’s Design Award for Designer of the Year, Yong will be contributing works produced for French furniture company, Ligne Roset. These works also hold special significance as they are the designs that launched Yong into the international design scene.

Says Yong: “The art de vivre of French design has been an important influence in my work, and I have taken great inspiration from its effortless and liberative nature. Having experienced the intrinsic value of French design first-hand through my collaboration with Ligne Roset, I hope NO TASTE FOR BAD TASTE will serve as a platform for wider audiences to explore its value, while partaking in important conversations that facilitate knowledge exchanges between both our countries.”     

To encourage more authentic encounters on French design, a special screening of a documentary on renowned French industrial designer Matali Crasset will be held on 17th October. Matali, who has recently collaborated with the National Museum of Singapore to present a unique art-play installation for toddlers, will participate in a dialogue session after the screening. She will also be a part of a panel discussion together with Yong on the links and bridges between Singapore and France design scenes on 18th October.

NO TASTE FOR BAD TASTE runs from 12th October to 16th November 2019 at the National Design Centre. For more information, visit their website here

Voilah! 2019 runs from 3rd October to 17th November 2019 around Singapore. For more information on the festival and the full programme, visit their website at

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