Wang & Söderström
Wang & Söderström

A Tactile Revolution

The creative duo Wang & Söderström is creating new dimensions for perception through their installations that span digital and physical realms. I meet them on a rainy December morning for a conversation about their ambitious project, where they aim to create alternative experiences of the digital.

For them, the digital and physical spaces are equal – and equally necessary. They virtuosically navigate through physical installations, 3D experiences in virtual reality, augmented reality, and video. While their works are fascinating, unique, and playful, there’s more at play for the duo.

We can all recall the feeling of stroking a dog's fur or the smell of freshly baked bread

They explain how they are intrigued by how our bodies sense and how these experiences are stored in our memory. We can all recall the feeling of stroking a dog’s fur or the smell of freshly baked bread. According to Wang & Söderström, there is an artistic potential to develop works that connect such sensory experiences across time and space. They believe that our sensory experiences in the physical world can enrich our digital experiences. Therefore, they create works that constantly challenge and expand our sensory apparatus.

“People have very limited experiences of the possibilities within the digital realm, and we want to change that. We can sometimes get frustrated with how people experience the digital. There is so much bias regarding what can and cannot be done. I want more softness and care in the digital.” – Anny Wang

It’s not only in their works that boundaries are blurred. Tim Söderström is a trained architect, and Anny Wang is a trained designer, but they have abandoned the idea of classical working methods, creating a shared hybrid practice. In addition to their formal education, they consider themselves self-taught in the digital. They have spent many hours watching tutorials online and delving into various forms of hardware and software, experimenting. So, it’s a mix of formal education and the internet that has shaped their practice, where they think and create in a shared flow between physical drawings, digital sketches in various 3D programs, and designing physical objects.

About Wang & Söderström

Wang & Söderström is a Swedish-born artist and design duo based in Copenhagen, consisting of Anny Wang and Tim Söderström. Wang & Söderström’s works have been exhibited internationally at museums and art centers such as Ars Electronica in Linz, La Galleria Nazionale in Rome, The Design Museum in London, Copenhagen Contemporary in Copenhagen, MMCA in Seoul, ArkDes in Stockholm, and Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum in New York. In 2021, the duo received the prestigious three-year working grant from the Danish Arts Foundation, and in 2023, they won the Lumen Art Prize and The Biennale Award.

Tim Söderström (b. 1988) completed his education in 2015 from the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, School of Architecture (MAA), Copenhagen. Anny Wang (b. 1990) completed her education in 2014 from HDK, Academy of Design and Crafts, University of Gothenburg (BFA), Gothenburg.Read more

Wang & Söderström

“We want to create a physical connection to technology.”
– Tim Söderström

Both grew up with digital technology physically present – floppy disks and CD-ROMs. They want to reestablish the physical feeling of technology. Therefore, the 3D printer is central to Wang & Söderström’s work, connecting the digital and physical spaces. You draw an object on the computer and bring it to life in the physical world. They say they weren’t always familiar with the 3D printer, both smiling at the thought of the first time they tried to print something. It was complicated, frustrating, and not a positive experience.

“It was only when we abandoned the rules of how to print and started using the printer in the wrong way that we were able to expand the possibilities of what can be done with a 3D printer. It became a significant driving force for us – doing the unexpected with the material.”
– Tim Söderström

The Liminal Eatery

Wang & Söderström participated in the Biennale for Crafts and Design 2023, where their work “The Liminal Eatery” won the Biennale Prize of DKK 100,000 donated by the Danmarks Nationalbank’s Jubilæumsfond. The Biennale was exhibited at Copenhagen Contemporary from October 13 to November 12, 2023.

For the Biennale, the artist duo created a scenario based on our collective everyday life, the meal, and the act of eating. The physical part of the work was executed in various forms of 3D printing: tables, chairs, lamps, cutlery. Sitting at the table, one feels transported to another world, crafted in hard materials but with soft, friendly forms in many different colors. The surfaces are both shiny, reflective, matte, and rough. It’s a world born in the digital realm but where the digital flows into a physical representation with its own organic expression.

The universe is continued in virtual reality. Putting on the headset, one finds oneself in a new dimension of the work. Here, the table and the meal are experienced in a digital reality, where suddenly avatars have joined. The sound aspect of the work is both playful and inviting, yet uncanny – in both the physical and virtual worlds, there is doubt about whether one has entered a reality to escape or live in forever.


Subtle Understanding of Colors

Often, the digital can seem alienating, something not related to our human bodies. Wang & Söderström want to create installations that the audience can relate to and perhaps even find recognizable. They often start with situations or objects tied to everyday life. The dining table, home, crops, insects. Some of the most trivial and bodily, intimate elements of our physical lives. The goal is to create experiences that are accessible and immediate, and their color palette also plays a significant role. They mention that many are often drawn to their colorful works.

“Anny has a unique understanding of colors. Her brother has absolute pitch and can identify tones without references. I usually say that Anny has the same subtle understanding of colors. She is aware of and sees something in colors that the rest of us do not.”
– Tim Söderström

Anny continues, emphasizing that it’s often not about individual colors but combinations. How one can compose a comprehensive expression using different colors.

“There is a world of colors!”
– Anny Wang

The combination of soft, organic shapes and colors creates a naive expression. On closer inspection, there are always more complex stories. Everyday life, colors, the recognizable have been touched by something that doesn’t feel like it’s from this world. There are elements of something we don’t quite know what it is. Perhaps something we don’t fully understand yet? Wang & Söderström expand our experiences of realities; their works contain a nostalgia and a longing for the digital experiences we once had while pointing towards possible futures. Futures where the digital has taken a different form within us. It has become part of our sensory apparatus, and our being is in a tactile flow between memories, presence, and digital transcendence.


Majken Overgaard is an independent curator and writer. Currently, she is associated with institutions such as the National Gallery of Denmark (Statens Museum for Kunst) and VEGA. Additionally, she is part of Korridor, an initiative exploring possibilities within digital art. She was a member of the Biennale’s jury that awarded the Biennale Prize 2023 to Wang & Söderström.

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Theme: Crafted Realities

How are the infinite and impactful possibilities of the digital realm utilized? Formkraft explores what the digital state means for the craft and design sector. How can craftsmen and designers best harness the new digital tools, and what pitfalls should they avoid?

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