Finally I had the chance to find MAME Milano, a tiny, cozy shop, where big projects come to life. A place for orientalist collectors, where architects and designers can practice with workshops and find inspiration. The owner, L. C. just opened few weeks ago and together with her partner, through a solid experience in decoration of ambience, can manage to decorate your house, restaurant, office and other ambience.
In MAME you can also find inspiration for your own projects: there is a display of many hand crafted furniture and arwork collections with a peculiar style from Asia. MAME is a hub where every arts’ seeker will feed its passion.
You can find accesories and rare pieces from China, statues and ceramics from Thailand and paintings from Japan as well.
Check the gallery below:
MAME is in downtown Milan, Italy, in Via Pier Capponi 4 very near subway station Wagner of the red line.
Kwan Young Kim graduated from Metal Art and Design at Hongik University of Seul, now, in Italy, he studies at Brera where he is mastering painting.
He has not abandoned his passion for sculpture, but he could not find a laboratory where he can work with a big amount of metal, and, basically, a compliant neighbourhood that tolerates the noise Metal Design requires, is hard to find!
He shows me several drafts of wonderful abstract figures. If only this guy had the chance to have his own laboratory!
However his paintings are very interesting as his sculptures.
They bring his signature, and you can tell that the identity of the artist is clearly visible in both.
The conceptual art of Kwan Young denotes his style and Memory is the thread of his work. He explains to me when he has started his new era of art:
“As my mother started suffering from Alzheimer, I begun to think carefully about Mind and Memory. When I show her my paintings with the bright colors and the shapes I draw, I hope she will recall some memory of her life”.
Kwan Young’s sculptures and paintings are characterized by abstract shapes standing up in a fragile balance. Although they seem they are about to fall off suddenly, they stand still.
In the same way, our memory and mind make up thoughts and build reality from dreams and viceversa, Kwan Young’s art is made to turn our conception of the world upside down.
He keeps working and sturying at new artworks, and I believe we will see an exhibition of him very soon.
The latest artist I happen to interview is a great Korean painter who’s searching inside her painting skills to make 3D installations.
Jaehee Kim comes from Seul at Brera’s Academy in order to experience new forms of art and reshaping her creativity by studying in Europe.
“I came here to study mosaic, but when I found out that Italian art schools keep separated different techniques such as painting or sculpture, I moved to Brera for a decoration course which tents to teach students diverse styles” She explains.
What I find gripping is the evolution of her art works from when she would live in Seoul until now, since she arrived in Italy three years ago.
“In Korea I attended painting in undergraduate and then in a Master of Art (at EWHA Womans University in 2005). But I moved to Italy because I could not stay in Seoul any longer. Coming to Italy my life has changed so much, and so is my art”.
For Jaehee the cultural gap between Korea and Italy could be seen as a cultural clash indeed.
When Jaehee shows me her paintings made in Korea, I notice how bright colors and diverse shapes play the role of main subjects.
The choice of the colors clearly transmits her mood and feelings while she was painting at that time. “As soon as I finished school and got my Master degree, the pressure put on my shoulders was unbearable. I could not paint for myself, but I was force to do it for business” Then she adds: ”I had to leave my hometown, and now, away from that pressure, I feel I can love again what I do and what I am”.
Jaehee is attending decoration course at Brera’s Academy.
“Decoration has nothing to do with painting, I know, but Brera is giving me the opportunity to work with many different materials professors and learning a wide range of techniques”.
Jaehee is taking a break from the flat world of paintings to experience the complex reality of an tridimensional installation where anyone can walk through.
“Nowaday an artist must experience different types of art. You must be able to paint, to sculpt, to project complex installations”.
The main art work accomplished by Jaehee is “Uncomfortable House” (Seoul 2010). This installation is the result of a study of her life between Korea and Italy, where daily life furniture and the cold and sharp steel of a numbers of needles creates the unreal feeling of discomfort.
The softness of our pair of slippers is pierced by thousands of needles coming up throught the soles. Then, our beloved feather’s stuffed pillow, is full of dangerous shining nails.
Imagine yourself walking in your cosy living room, but, as soon as you realized the presence of needles everywhere, you come out in goosebumps!
“The idea of this installation came to my mind while I was in Korea. I could not stay at home anymore, even if I was in my bed I could not sleep at all! I always felt the piercing sensation of discomfort. I can express my pain through this: and everyone can understand how I feel by looking at it”. It’s very true.
This art work differs a lot from her paintings: from colors on flat canvas, to a black and white’s 3D installation.
“I don’t know if this type of art is helping me coping with the pain, but I want to see how it goes on”.
Come what may, I wish Jaehee will be able to find her balance soon, and discover the warmth of the colors once again.
Writing articles about Asian artists and influences their works might have gotten by living in Europe, have made a question to rise from a dear friend of mine. He asked me few days ago: “Have you ever thought of writing a piece about Japanese- Brazilian artists?”.
His point stroke me clearly and I thank him for this, because I cannot find myself speaking of fusion of Eastern and Western arts, forgetting of the emblematic example of Brazil and its very strong bind with the Far East.
Not everyone knows that Japanese community in Brazil is one of the most prosperous. The emigration to Brazil has a non typical characteristic; in fact it was prompted and financed by the Japanese government in agreement with the hosting Southern American country.
The project set by the Japanese and Brazilian governments allowed the Kasato Maru, a ship full of 781 “willing” immigrants, to sail from Tokyo in 1907 and leave to reach Rio almost a year later. The integration of the new territory was hard, but the new born Brazilian citizens has become an important and inseparable factor for the wealth of the country until today.
Speaking of art, the mix of vitality and colorful character of the Brazilian culture and the Japanese traditional mark, usually very coriaceous to fade away in an external hosting culture, has generated a distinctive melting pot that anyone who had the chance to pass by São Paulo can touch by his own hands.
An author, a “Maestro” of painting , scultping and engraving, who can easily be brought as an example of this, is Tomie Ohtake (1913), a Japanese immigrant who stands out for her contribution to the Brazilian culture.
She had to wait until she was in her forties to let the flower of art flourishing from her spirit, but this doesn’t mean that her art was the calm and unruffled one of a mother of two kids; on the contrary, she is an energetic and powerful artist even if she is 98 years old! As you can see from the pictures of her paintings and sculptures, I put up on this page, her artistic identity is assessed by warm colors and pure geometric lines that are bent together in clear shapes. As she said in an interview speaking about her feelings about Japan and Brazil: “As diferenças estabelecem semelhanças, o contraste è o elo”, (differences determine similarities and contrast is the link).
I believe that we cannot talk about Asian influences in Europe without peeking through the industrious melting pot of Brazil.