Pokras Lampas: "The Design Of The Interior Inspires Me A Lot"

One of the brightest representatives of modern calligraphy, the founder of the new art movement Calligrafuturism, was a special guest of the Design Week 9th season. Pokras Lampas told how to make you notice what the "avant-garde of the new wave" means and why there are chairs "a la Philippe Starck" in his house.
Pokras Lampas is one of the most prominent representatives of modern calligraphy.
Pokras Lampas is one of the most prominent representatives of modern calligraphy.
How a young artist could start cooperating with international brands?

There are no clear rules, but there are things that help. The first is a competent, intelligible portfolio: current and experimental projects, projects implemented with the client, concepts. Portfolio is important to publish on sites where a person may notice — it can be Behance or another similar resource. The second is at least minimal media activity: social networks, saving and maintaining contacts. Further — participation in experimental projects, interaction with magazines, participation in creative shootings, collaborations with other artists, photographers, designers. This is how an experience is formed that is important so that someone serious comes to the artist and suggests a joint project. Without this, the chances are much less.

And if to send the portfolio to people and companies with whom the artist would like to cooperate?

I cannot give an expert assessment of what will happen if you send out your portfolio. I did not do it. I took the path that my projects would one day will be notice — and they were really noticed!

At the lecture, you spoke about the "avant-garde of the new wave" of the 21st century. What is it? Who is it?

Today, art is actively united with other spheres; the result is audio installations, video installations, music, and photographs. I have about 200 accounts on Instagram, which I watch with interest. If we talk about the new wave that inspired me, this is the development of video projections and generative graphics. These are "Strength of Light", Radugadesign and our other companies that have shot the whole world. There are great Russian guys working there, and this is a real pride — how powerfully, cheerfully and in an original way they do their job. If we talk about what I see as the avant-garde as a whole — this is Kanye West with experiments, and Daniel Arsham, and Ronnie Fieg, and other projects at the interface of music, culture and fashion. If we talk about the artistic environment, then this is post-graffiti and graffuturism, which combine design, graffiti techniques, large-scale monumental murals. This is a fairly large current, which united 20−30 strong names, and one of them is Felipe Pantone.
Limited Yandex.Station series, designed in the style of calligrafuturism. At the heart of the picture is a quote by co-founder of Yandex Ilya Segalovich: "Progress is unstoppable". ​
Limited Yandex. Station series, designed in the style of calligrafuturism.
At the heart of the picture is a quote by co-founder of Yandex Ilya Segalovich: "Progress is unstoppable".
Share your inner philosophy.

In the context of art, this is the study of various cultures and their unification through writing, calligraphy. Search for calligraphy of the future. Today I feel how the borders between states are being erased, how new technologies are coming, how the tools we work with are changing, the perception of cultural codes and types of communication is changing. All this affects art, life, writing and, as a result, calligraphy. It is a value and a philosophy that helps me to understand why I am doing this and what I want to say.

My philosophy in life is the balance between the search for truth and the formation of my sincerity of thinking. This allows me to feel comfortable and free. I am not afraid of the new, I am open to the old, I am open to mistakes, to new achievements.
Huge infinite mirror public art object located in the overground tunnel in Moscow. Representing the modern cyrillic calligraphy and typography. ​
Huge infinite mirror public art object located in the overground tunnel in Moscow.
Representing the modern cyrillic calligraphy and typography.
You really make an impression of a very independent person for whom there are no borders (in a good way). It seems to me that for our country this is a rather rare phenomenon. How did you come to this?

I think this is related to my attitude to education. I believe that the practice is very important, that it is necessary to strive for your own identity, for independence from the opinions of others, from expertise. It is important to shape your environment, your audience, which will support you with your opinion and style. I did not go to art school, did not have an advertising education. I studied design myself. At the same time, I really respect many speakers and lecturers, so I absorbed their information in the comfortable format watching lectures on YouTube, listening to interviews, excerpts from books, snippets of manifestos, personal meetings, discussions, and public talks. All these formed a system of knowledge in which I find it comfortable to navigate — I understand where it came from and what I see, I see the causes and effects of some new phenomena.
Mural, dedicated to the Moscow Bicycle Festival, created together with artist Andrei Berger.
Mural, dedicated to the Moscow Bicycle Festival, created together with artist Andrei Berger.
Design Week is an event associated with interior and product design. Please tell us about your attitude to this area.

All this is very inspiring, but due to the specifics of what I have been doing lately; I have dropped out of this environment a bit. I regret it, because every time when I see fragments of some interior phenomena, it inspires me to new thoughts, collaborations, and projects. I have been to major exhibitions such as iSaloni in Milan, but, as a rule, by chance. I was lucky — I came to Milan in the days of the salon, but to another event. What can I say? The industry is developing; there is more technology and production tools. As for the formation of the market, I don’t really know how things are going on in Russia. Perhaps this is also a matter of time — obviously, there is a lot of inspiration.

And what does your home look like?

I have a very simple, ascetic design. White walls, on which I hung a series of my works — canvases measuring 3×1 m, there are triptych and diptych in every room. They occupy all the space. I have a big red sofa Supreme, which is a light highlight in this black, white and red interior. Everything else is ascetic: IKEA, chairs a la Philippe Starck (their form is inspired me to paint them later). In general, I love minimalism. If we talk about the country, then this is most likely Scandinavia. I love things that have a well-defined form, calm colors. I love the game of textures and concrete.
The participants of the round table "1 + 1 + 1" in the framework of the St. Petersburg Design Week 2019 business program
The participants of the round table "1 + 1 + 1" in the framework of the St. Petersburg Design Week 2019 business program:
artist, calligrapher Pokras Lampas, artist, designer, the Communication design profile curator at the HSE Design School
in St. Petersburg Andrei Lyublinsky, designer, founder and chief editor of Projector magazine, academic head
of the HSE Design School in St. Petersburg Mitya Kharshak and President of Design Week in St. Petersburg Ruslan Chernobaev.