Into The CaveMax King
A long time friend in the neighbourhood, Max King has been quietly working over the past few years on something more than his duties at Stussy. Taking advantage of his travels by scouring flea markets around the world and subsequently learning about design along the way. He’s now collected everything into a space he calls Cave. Part gallery, part showroom, Cave is unique in Vancouver for its variety of objects: from lighting design and vintage textiles, to Japanese antiques and of course, as you’ll see, some very special rocks he’s collected on the coast.
What is your idea of a cave and what does yours represent for you?
A Cave is a home. It’s the sanctuary you retreat back to, a symbol of safety. It’s where you get to be your primal self, judge free. A vessel filled with things you need, the space that tells your story. A Cave is the canvas for your life. For me it represents that idea. Caves are these beautiful spaces bursting with creative expression and narratives, while also places we are still exploring and discovering. That is what Cave, my interiors spot is about. My Cave aims to promote those same values.
We’ve always known you to be a collector of sorts, where has that mentality come from?
Good question! I haven’t really thought about how it started - or when… But I think I’ve always been very curios and sentimental. There is just so much to discover out there in that big world and I feel like my life has really been a series of rabbit holes which flow and open to new ones all the time. Learning about one thing has naturally lead me to find out about something else and I just keep following that curiosity. I certainly feel the mentality has been rooted in searching for this idea of true authenticity - a quality or a frequency that lives in certain things and can manifest itself in a song, a teapot, a jacket, lamp, or rock from the beach. It’s beautiful to be reminded of that quality, maybe that’s why I’m always exploring around for it.
How did you gather and develop the current offering at the cave?
Well, as a concept in my brain it probably began when I started working at Inventory. That’s where I really was exposed to ideas I never really knew existed before. Masters like Rams or Eames gave way to an entire galaxy that extended in every direction through many different era’s. Obviously books allow you to expand your knowledge and it felt like the closest thing I could own to an actual object designed by a designer/architect/artist I liked was his or her book. Gathering the pieces has taken a long time. It’s been a slow collection process, gradually building up enough inventory to speak honestly to the experience I wanted to share with people. I’ve been really fortunate to have people educating me about a lot of pieces I have - sharing their love of a certain lamp or chair with me. That has really helped me. The development all refers back to the essence of storytelling and marrying that idea with a diverse range of pieces. It was something that I noticed when I would come back from travelling. Vancouver didn’t have this contemporary ‘experienced/used’ interior design objects market. It was either craigslist or one of the few MCM stores around town. Cave is just this small laboratory where I’m trying to prove this spacial test, can Italian, Scandanavian, Japanese, American or African crafted ideas all live in a single space harmoniously? If people are talking about quality being important in the clothes they wear and the food they eat, how far into the rest of these people’s lives does this belief extend?
Which piece at the cave are you most attached to presently?
Some of the most sacred and valuable pieces I own are one’s I’ve collected from the beach, It has always been about the rocks, baby! It’s difficult for me to explain but they are so pure, sculpted over millennia by our natural world. My favourites that I have collected are one’s that have taken on new identities, where an immeasurable amount of conditions have turned a material, rough and jagged into something soft and smooth. There have been a few artists like Arp, Moore or Noguchi who have managed to create these similar ideas with stone, but there is no comparison to mother nature herself sculpting these things on her own. There is absolutely nothing pretentious about a rock, its ideology tells the story of time and what is more romantic than that!
Do you think it’s necessary to find a narrative or function in the things that you own?
Absolutely! To live with things you love and that speak to you is what Cave is all about. Form should be the result of some function, whether physical or emotional the whole point is that you should feel something. Of course it is not necessary to search out those stories or functions in everything you own. Perhaps you have no connection to material things and I appreciate that intention but even a buddhist monk, owning only two sets of robes and bowl would have deep meaningful relationships with their belongings.
If the cave had a soundtrack, what would we hear?
Gipsy Kings chopped and screwed? Just kidding! That’s a tough question because it is constantly changing but if you were to come by now you would hear in no particular order… Dire Straits, Arthur Russell, Sade, Tears for fears, Pat Methany Group, Saint Etienne, Cocteau Twins, BADBADNOTGOOD, and Kate Bush - it really depends how many lights are on!
Are there other facets to this new space that you would like it to evolve into?
Well the website is being developed right now and of course I have aspirations for evolution but for now Cave is all about love, education, and discovery.