As a company with strong roots in the arts, Leon is always looking to support artists both near and far, and when Noah Kaplan, Leon’s founder and president, discovered the work of up-and-coming Detroit artist Mike Han earlier this year, he knew immediately that he wanted to collaborate to bring Han’s work to Leon’s audience.
Launching today and covered more in depth in Connected Design‘s Fall Issue, the Leon x Mike Han collaboration is a series of three paintings titled “Detroit Vibrations” that was created by Han exclusively for Leon. The pieces are being released as Leon’s latest Artist Edition Collection for the Ente SoundTile, a product that combines art and audio in one. In addition to being available for the Ente SoundTile, “Detroit Vibrations” will also be sold as limited-edition art prints on Leon’s website.
“What I love about the vision and mission of Leon at this stage is that we’re really about enabling artists to tell their stories, and we want people to be able to experience those stories in a new and different way,” said Kaplan. “Mike Han’s work has a natural musicality to it and when I saw it for the first time, I knew it would be a perfect fit for our Ente SoundTiles.”
Leon’s Ente SoundTile transforms the stereo system from a speaker into a work of art. Two channels of reference-grade audio and an amplifier are concealed behind a perforated metal speaker grille with an artwork screen printed on top. The sound tile mounts directly to the wall, appearing more like an art piece than an audio component.
While art for the tiles can be sourced from online art galleries like Rosentiels, Leon also works with artists to create exclusive Artist Edition collections for the series. Initially debuting with a selection of iconic fine art photographs from music photographer, Roberto Rabanne, the latest Ente SoundTile Artist Edition Collection is the three Mike Han “Detroit Vibrations” pieces that can be arranged as a triptych, diptych, or as standalone pieces.
A Korean-Detroit artist, designer, and self-described “modern vandal,” Han’s work is bold, drawing influence from the work of Keith Haring, classic graffiti from the ‘80s and ‘90s, and Korean calligraphy—but with a contemporary and playful touch. “A lot of my work starts with a character, a small piece, one line that builds upon the next,” said Han. “I don’t predetermine the outcome, but I find it through the process of creation.”