Milanese designer Enzo Mari’s works for MaruTomi are the subject of a new exhibition at Galleria Giustini / Stagetti. The nine works Mari produced for the Japanese company specialising in objects created with lacquer, using traditional techniques, are set to be on display for the first time since they were originally exhibited in Milan in 2002.
Exhibition Enzo Mari, Urushi no Kirameki spotlights the collection originally designed in 2001, shifting the focus on to a lesser-known period of his career which saw him explore both craftsmanship and physical labour. He used three different types of wood - Japanese lime, Zelkova serrata, and Thujopsis dolabrata - for pieces which were then subjected to different lacquering techniques. Each method creates a subtly different finish, from Nuritate, a deep glossy lacquering technique, to Roiro, a lacquering technique which leaves a gleaming mirrored surface and Fukiurushi which recalls textured wood. The pieces are in mahogany, recognised as the colour of elegance, and caramel, expressing radiance.
Mari draws on his understanding of the natural substance lacquer, found in the sap of the tree Urushi only located in Japan and southeast Asia, for complex processes which can require more than 100 steps. Lacquer’s distinctive shine is only achieved by multiple applications, using different processes including sandpaper to form its ultimate strength and sheen.
Enzo Mari, Urushi no Kirameki, takes place May 12th – June 9th, 2023
Galleria Giustini / Stagetti
Via Gregoriana 41, 00187 Roma
Hannah Silver joined Wallpaper* in 2019 to work on watches and jewellery. Now, as well as her role as watches and jewellery editor, she writes widely across all areas including on art, architecture, fashion and design. As well as offbeat design trends and in-depth profiles, Hannah is interested in the quirks of what makes for a digital success story.
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