YINJISPACE use media professional’s unique perspective,try to explore the essence of life behind the design works.

© logo 粤ICP备19077098号

YINJISPACE use media professional’s unique perspective,try to explore the essence of life behind the design works.

© logo 粤ICP备19077098号

Meditation of Heaven and Earth

From Hotel August, a tour coach transported us close to the harbour. There we encountered an unassuming building, adorned with a solitary black door. The air was filled with the salty tang of the sea, mingling with the faint scent of aged wood. Drawing closer, we were greeted by Cédric Etienne. Dressed in a flowing black cassock-like garment, his presence exuded a calm. He beckoned us into his world.

Establishing his Studio Corkinho in a heritage building, Cédric embarked on a mission to breathe new life into forgotten spaces, repurposing them into space of tranquility and creativity. He kept considering how to change the energy of the space with little interventions. With each project, he sought to honor the building's history while infusing it with a contemporary aesthetic that celebrated its architectural heritage.

Inside, against one wall, rested a massive framed collage, dwarfing even a human's height. About the material, Cédric cast a subtle aura of suspense, drawing us in with a quiet intrigue. It was a captivating mosaic of textures and colors, inviting us to unravel its secret. As we proceeded inside, he began to weave the story of Antwerp, a city steeped in history.

Antwerp boasts a rich history intertwined with its bustling harbor and flourishing fashion industry. The city holds a creative spirit, nurtured by influential figures like the Antwerp Six and esteemed masters such as Vincent Van Duysen and Luc Tuymans. Drawing inspiration from Antwerp's rich heritage and vibrant arts scene, Cédric Etienne guides guests through a journey of exploration and discovery.

Having spent years in the fast-paced world of fashion, orchestrating grand scenographies for iconic brands like Giorgio Armani and Yves Saint Laurent, Cédric got exhausted and felt a longing for a deeper connection to his inner self. It was during a transformative journey to Japan, the Vipassana meditaion, where he embarked on a 10-day silent meditation retreat, that the seeds of inspiration were sown.

Upon returning to Antwerp, Cédric embarked on a quest to redefine his approach to design. It was during this quest that he discovered cork—a humble yet versatile material. Tracing the origins of cork from the rugged landscapes of Portugal, he reveals its transformation into versatile design elements. Cédric is devoted to ennobling this material and creating a raw and bold aesthetic language.

Cork is obtained by carefully stripping the outer bark of the tree. The bark regenerates naturally over time, allowing the tree to be harvested again every nine year. While the industry typically relies on mass production methods, Cédric's approach is characterized by its artisanal nature. Additionally, he champions the utilization of cork leftovers, a practice often overlooked in the industry's quest for efficiency.

The cork, with its pure color and natural texture, evokes a sense of raw authenticity. Its touchness, akin to sitting on a tree, reconnects individuals with the essence of Mother Earth, reminding them of their roots. When interacting with cork, whether through touch or sight, one is transported to a moment of quiet contemplation, where the boundaries between object and observer blur.

Beyond his architectural endeavors, Cédric's vision extended to the creation of spaces for introspection and contemplation. Inspired by the principles of sacred geometry and Eastern philosophy, he crafted pavilions and rooms that served as sanctuaries for the soul—places where individuals could retreat from the chaos of modern life and reconnect with their inner selves. His design demonstrates how physical spaces can nurture emotional well-being. He doesn't want to express objects that already exist, but to create moments with objects.

Navigating through the narrow, dimly lit stairs, we followed Cedric deeper into the heart of his studio. With each step, the outside world faded away, replaced by a sense of tranquility and introspection. As we finally entered the meditation room, bathed in soft, ethereal light, the tension of the journey melted away, replaced by a profound sense of calm.

In a world that often seems to move at breakneck speed, Cédric's work serves as a reminder of the importance of stillness and mindfulness. Through his designs and philosophy, he invites others to pause, to reflect, and to find solace in the simple beauty of the present moment.