BrainBank: Ming Dynasty AK 47

I attended First Friday tonight, the monthly event where art galleries in Olde City, Philadelphia are open to the public, and saw really interesting things. One of the creations that stood out most was in the Clay Studio. The Ming Dynasty AK47, made by Charles Kraft, is a gun made  out of white and blue porcelain.

This summer, I took the History of Modern Design while I was studying in London, where we studied several different design movements in Great Britain. One of the major influences on British Design was Chinoserie. A common characteristic of Chinoserie was white and blue porcelain ceramics, also known as China. China is a delicate thing that most people who own it keep locked away until special occasion. Being that it is such a delicate type of craft, making a gun out of it is a contradicting idea.

When I saw the gun against the wall, I thought about how important material choice is when designing. If the gun would have been designed exactly the same yet made with metal, it would not have been interesting.However, designing a masculine object out of a feminine material will definitely cause the viewer to stop and think.

Concept is not the only thing that can make something creative. How something is constructed can make something creative as well. I often forget that.

Because the Ming Dynasty AK 47 is as feminine as it is masculine, I don’t know who the intended audience is. Charles Kraft’s creation does show hoever that there can be a compromise of two completely opposite ideas.


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