Romancing The Stone

Chen Chen & Kai Williams New York May 3 - August 2, 2019


The Future Perfect is pleased to present Romancing the Stone, an exhibition featuring new works by artists Chen Chen & Kai Williams on view at Casa Perfect New York beginning May 2.

The modus operandi of Chen and Kai’s work is presenting common objects in a natural way that allows their hidden beauty to shine through. They focus extensively on the process in order to achieve this goal. In the case of the presented body of work, they have chosen to work with stone, some found, some leftover from quarry excavation, as the basis of material for Romancing The Stone.

“We wanted to show the myriad of ways that the material could be used from the gravity of the tables to the lightness and transparency of the lights.”- Chen Chen & Kai Williams.

In The Geology Collection, tables are created by splitting various stones in half in order to reveal the beautiful composition of minerals hidden inside. The individual stones are set like a jewel and assembled like a puzzle into a bricolage surface that is supported by a complex network of steel armature made specifically to hold it.

Chen Chen & Kai Williams have expanded on the Geology Collection to include light fixtures ‘Stone Roses,’ which are made by finely slicing stones until they are transparent and allow light to shine through.

“Chen Chen and Kai Williams are making conceptual work unparalleled in the design world in New York right now. What I find most exciting about their work is that you feel the energy within it. There’s something very raw about what they do, yet at the same time, when you look closely it’s extremely polished and well-finished work. For example, tables within the Geology Collection are comprised of multiple stones varying in size that result in a perfectly level surface. The complexity of achieving that is made to look effortless. I’m very excited about this show because it’s a completely articulated vision that I’m not sure I’ve seen from them before.”- David Alhadeff


Brooklyn, New York-based designers Chen Chen and Kai Williams are known for their eclectic range of avant-garde furniture, functional products, and decorative objects — which include one-off and collectible works as well as commercial goods.The pair met while studying industrial design at Pratt University, and launched their joint venture in 2011. With a mutual interest in transformative materials, their process relies heavily on experimentation — often with earthy materials like ceramics, stone and wood.
Their signature Cold Cut coasters — cross-sections of artificially created logs of resin, wood and other materials — exemplify their colorful, unique aesthetic. The collection’s success led to a rug and textile project that mimicked the same visceral patterns found within the coasters.  Other popular pieces include their homemade knives made from debris found in and around their Brooklyn studio, and furniture made of spoil board.