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What does Feng Shui have to do with Ikea? They are two viable ways to approach peace of mind and body. Smooth Sailing is an installation that explores spirituality in a practical way, through settings that nudges one towards peace and prosperity. While numerous Feng Shui objects populate Eastern (and sometimes Western homes), Ikea objects and furnishings are very commonly found in middle class homes across regions (66% of Ikea’s retail revenue came from Europe in 2017). The proliferation of Ikea objects, combined with the implementation of Feng Shui concepts symbolises an Eastern ideology manifested through Western objects.
Feng Shui is a belief system that rests upon the unseen flows of energy within the natural and built environment—one’s life can be prosperous and smooth if one aligns oneself towards favourable directions. Many partake in rituals, objects and literature in hopes of attaining a better, more comfortable life.
Ikea, as an ideology, brings idealistic standards of domestic bliss to the masses at affordable prices. The entourage of daily objects form physical and mental structures that make Ikea synonymous with the comforting and decontextualised idea of home.
The central piece of the installation is a custom carpet that visualises the 8 Directions (4 Lucky and 4 Unlucky) that any Feng Shui buff would be aware of. Focusing on how daily objects can be imbued with spiritual meaning, and how unseen forces can be visualised in physical ways, the carpet was crafted with signage that positions users in favourable directions to receive good energy flows. One should install the carpet in alignment with the cardinal directions, and orientate oneself to always face the auspicious directions.
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