Vlisco un a un
Various storylines attract the attention of this exhibition’s visitors. They learn from unique pieces about Vlisco’s rich, one hundred and seventy year history. Finding out about the manufacturing process to being submerged in a visual spectacle. This climaxes in a gigantic Vlisco pattern designed by Schuurman, a hypnotic mix of black and white, contrasting colours and patterns. A swirling play of lines has been designed for the floor that appears to repeat itself at first glance, but this is not the case. With a mathematical formula a pattern has been made that is difficult to see where it starts and ends, but it is clearly mutating. The scale of the whole design sucks the visitor in completely.
This exhibition covers the history of Vlisco very impressively. The content is not just strong, so too is the presentation. Michiel Schuurman, former designer for Vlisco, was responsible for the visual translation of the exhibition concept. That the client gave the designer a free hand here is worthy of praise. The result is an explosive experience of colours and patterns, with Schuurman’s signature recognisable throughout: a crowning piece for his body of works. The collaboration with many designers makes this small exhibition a not-to-be-missed experience.
A majestic oeuvre exhibition staged at a time when this industry is facing challenging times. Vlisco’s colonial history and the story behind the Helmond-based brand that is world famous in West Africa is brought into incredible, vibrant focus. The content and presentation cannot be faulted. As a former fabric designer at Vlisco, Michiel Schuurman developed the concept, which resulted in a poetic, mesmerising and unexpected routing. Strolling through the exhibition, visitors are plunged into an explosion of hues and patterns. The numerous collaborations with other designers made the presentation at this small museum an unmissable experience – especially for a relatively modest, regional institution as Museum Helmond – that justified the enormous number of visitors.