It is standard practice among connoisseurs to initially inspect the brand name on the bottom side of the porcelain. This is not necessary in the case of Khashayar Naimanan’s Arkanum. The Nymphenburg signet is resplendent very visibly in majestical grey on the base of the cup. A glance at the lower side of the Arkanum porcelain is still rewarding nevertheless. This is because the British product designer applied the precious floral decoration that was painted freely by hand in black and platinum.
In times of visual sensory overload, the greatest luxury is often concealed: Knowing which splendour and craftsmanship is to be found in an object, without it being immediately visible to everyone at first glance. The British product designer Khashayar Naimanan is a master of concealment. He designed two works at the same time for the Nymphenburg manufactory – Hidden Wealth and Arkanum. In the case of both designs he has had the magnificent, hand-painted flower decors placed on the bottom side of each porcelain piece. Thus, it is mainly their owners who will be treated to the pleasure of masterly treasures.
Already during his degree course at the London Royal College of Art Khashayar Naimanan experimented with possible forms of concealment and deception. He created a service full of splendor and beauty for the Nymphenburg manufactory in the form of Hidden Wealth, the decoration of which escapes the chance glance of the observer. Arkanum is also based on the principle of concealed luxury: Leaves and blossoms in black and platinum which resemble silhouettes adorn the bottom sides of the plates and cups. And the Nymphenburg signet on the plain, pure white porcelain becomes the focal point on the upper side.
Khashayar Naimanan, 2011
Lotos, white, glazed, hand painted
The development of the table ornaments is closely linked with the glittering career of porcelain at the electors’ courts of Europe. At all times plates, cups and tureens served as richly ornamented show pieces. The splendour of the floral decorations, gold jewellery and ornaments repeatedly reached new design highlights. But no-one had ever had the confidence to produce something like this: The British product designer Khashayar Naimanan very deliberately places the precious, hand-painted motifs of his Arkanum service on the bottom of the porcelain. The characteristic Nymphenburg signet is the only thing you can still see from above the set.