BROK Festival | Felipe Ribon

BROK Festival was inspired by the Mexican piñata and similar traditions around the world, from the Danish game slå katten af tønden (‘hit the cat out of the barrel’) to the Indian festive tradition Uri adithal. While today the piñata is often made of decorated papier-mâché, traditionally the hollow form would have been ceramic.

The BROK Festival is a series of containers made in clay and embellished with Canvas. The purpose of the game is to break the object and release the small presents hidden within. To do so, participants have their eyes covered with a blindfold and try to hit the object with a wooden stick while it swings in the air. I believe this traditional folk object remains an important contemporary artefact for celebrations today.

Functionally, BROK is no different from the traditional folk objects, however the aesthetic is a complete departure. A cross-shaped ceramic body holding the gifts can be dressed in a combination of shaped and patterned textile ‘garments’, creating a family of possible decorative forms. Using Canvas as an ornamental covering, one can create a new set of shapes and figures for the game.