French-Lebanese designer Charles Kalpakian has a rare gift for subtly incorporating personal biography into his art. His chiselled geometric lines are the signature of his innovative approach, fusing his oriental roots with his knowledge of design and the decorative arts. These influences take shape through the reinterpretation of classical motifs, historical forms and archetypes, often inherited from Lebanon’s history and geography, filtered through a resolutely contemporary urban culture.
His work is distinguished by references to his native Oriental identity, combined with traditional French techniques – notably marquetry – and a fresh take on the tradition of metalworking. The stroke is always clean, the line always clear, even if the gesture is sometimes akin to calligraphic writing in space. Furniture, lighting, staging: the territories are as rich as his creation, with Eastern influences blending with Western culture past and present.