In the concluding segment of Hermès 2018 theme of Play, the windows of its flagship store at Liat Towers in Singapore features the imagination of New York-based creative director and still life artist Sonia Rentsch.
Rentsch's installation, entitled 'En Passant' is an open invitation for all to come and play. For the artist, the notion of play conjures a sense of place linked to her childhood – building a tree house with grand visions of utopia, foraging for pillows and blankets, creating fortresses out of chairs and tables, beyond the realm of reality.
"En Passant is the name of a classic chess move but it also simply means ‘in the act of passing’. It seems to nicely describe the relationship of the viewers on the street to the installation, and [hints at] the possibility of playful interaction between two people."explains Rentsch.
Centred around childhood memories and play spaces, En Passant is modelled after Rentsch's childhood home, and the doll house that her father built. With no stairs in the original doll house, Rentsch had to imagine her own paths from room to room, floor to floor. In this version 2.0, stairs have been included in the doll house – stairs that only once existed in Sonia’s imagination.
"A very firm memory stems from the doll house my father dutifully built me – a two-storey open wooden box with no façade. It had windows and doors but no way of traversing between floors – I had to imagine the stairs existed. It is to here I return, a simple place that became more than I imagined," she adds.
Within the artful interpretation, Hermès objects such as the Balcon du Guadalquivir table service, Equilibre d’Hermès magnifying glass and various leather accessories add life to the scene.
A chessboard features as the flooring for the doll house, while oversized chess pieces help navigate the viewers through the rooms, stairwells and hallways.
In addition, two further rooms in the smaller showcase windows housing both men’s and women’s accessories.
En Passant will be on display until 25 February 2019 in the windows of Hermès Liat Towers, 541 Orchard Road.