MOV DIY Tobias Wong Glass Chairs

Tobias Wong, Glass Chairs Nos. 2 & 1, 2002, exhibition copies, Low-iron glass, UV glue, installed at Museum of Vancouver in 2022-23. image: MOV

This morning on the good social media, Kevin Buist mentioned that the Museum of Vancouver had a Tobias Wong exhibition last year. All We Want Is More ran from November 2022 thru July 2023. Obviously, I missed it, but there is a virtual tour, and I had to stop and post this, because the first thing you see is Glass Chairs Nos. 1 and 2 in a plexiglass box.

The wall text notes that Wong’s appropriations of other people’s works—in this case, Donald Judd’s 84 chairs—”were not always welcomed or understood and provoked heated conversations about notions of authorship.” Also, because he “had always found Judd’s chairs uncomfortable,” Wong made his chairs “slightly higher.”

The label for the chairs reads: “Initially prototyped in 2002 for the now defunct, New York-based T for Troy [sic?], in 2004 Glass Chairs nos. 1 and 2 went into production with Twentieth, a high-end design store based in Los Angeles. Twentieth granted MOV a one-time license to reproduce the chairs using Wong’s design specifications.

This is an unusual piece of information for a wall text, but they also have a making-of video that shouts out the mount maker, so maybe that’s just how MOV rolls. What’s important is, rather than borrow some, someone at MOV just ordered some glass and glued these chairs together.

Tobias Wong Glass Chair No. 2, I think, produced by Twentieth and sold by LA Modern in 2023

Not to provoke heated conversations about notions of authorship, but Judd’s chairs are 30 x 15 x 15 inches, and Wong’s chairs are 31 1/2 inches tall and 16 inches wide, and the glass is 3/4-inch thick. Which means if the seat is 16 inches square, the shelf underneath—the chair with the shelf is No. 2—is 16W x 15 1/4 D. Whether there is two pieces on the side [No. 1] or one piece on the front [No. 2], the other vertical glass pieces are 19 x 16 inches, and they are set under the seat.

Here is an 8-minute YouTube video on how to make a glass display case with the Bohle UV bonding system. It looks just like the chair! Why not try it at home today?