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for Duson Gallery Seoul


The exhibition Mother-of-Pearl Tables organized by the South Korean art gallery presents works by six international designers, interpreting the traditional Jagae (mother-of-pearl) in coffee tables of great charm produced in collaboration with local artisans in Tongyeong, masters in the craBing of this precious material.

On view, works by Alessandro Mendini, Elena Salmistraro, Marcel Wanders, Marco Zanuso Jr, Stefano Giovannoni and Younghee Cha.

The exhibition Mother-of-Pearl Tables, presented at Triennale Milano, reflects the encounter between East and West through the gallery’s collaboration with six internationally acclaimed designers, Alessandro Mendini, Elena Salmistraro, Marcel Wanders, Marco Zanuso Jr, Stefano Giovannoni and Younghee Cha, who were asked to create coffee tables of forceful artistic impact interpreting Jagae (mother-of-pearl), a material that embodies the essence of oriental crafts and culture. The objects were realized by Deokgun Jang and Gyesoon Kang, master artisans working in the region of Tongyeong in Korea, renowned for the production and crafting of mother-of-pearl.

MOLAN, Elena Salmistraro

The Molan coffee table reinterprets the shape of the typical Korean hat, the Gat, in a profile of circular rotation that vaguely reflects the form of cyclones, giving rise to a unique, highly characteristic object. The slim, enveloping silhoue]e catches the eye while the smooth, polished surface glows thanks to the use of fine decorations in mother-of-pearl. Molan reworks the age-old Korean tradition in a current way, bringing together Korean heritage and culture with elements and codes typical of contemporary design through a sophisticated, elegant language. Mother-of-pearl is utilized to create intricate motifs, also closely linked to tradition, making the table a one-of-a-kind inimitable work of art. The enveloping form generated by the rotation represented another challenge for the Korean master artisans as it requires precise, refined workmanship; it is intentionally juxtaposed with pure, solid, simple elements, giving the work a compact quality and a sort of formal contrast, for a forceful, theatrical presence. The surface is smooth and uniform thanks to the use of a pane of glass that does not obscure the sinuous form, underscoring the elegance and lightness of the object while making it innovative, precious and rare.

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