Pierre Charpin at Sozzani bookshop during the Design Week

During the Milan Design Week, the Sozzani bookshop will showcase a selection of ceramics that Pierre Charpin designed for Japanese brand 1616/Arita Japan.

Located in the South of Japan, the city of Arita has centered on the production of porcelain since the 17thcentury, specifically since 1616, when – as the legend goes – a Korean potter found a kaolin deposit on site. The whole ceramics production process takes place in Arita, from the extraction of raw materials to finished objects of all kinds, ranging from the simplest to the most sophisticated pieces.

Charpin’s creations have resulted from his reflections on the relationship between shape and decoration, two aspects he planned together. Inlieu of designing shape first and decorations later, as it is usually done, he paid particular attention to the edges of his pieces, and focused on a simple detail  ̶  a little bulge along the edge that inspired the gradual shading motif. It took him two years to complete the collection.

As Pierre Charpin writes

whether it is a plate, a tray or a bowl, and no matter what the specific functions of each object are, the design process inevitably makes you think of the container limits, of its edges, as they determine where the container begins and ends, and so define it

Alongside the Arita 1616 collection, Charpin also designed a selection of large platters where the hand-painted decoration – “a variation on arabesques” – is placed right at the center. The Japanese craftsmen painting the motifs were able to reproduce the original illustration, as if their hands were a direct extension of Charpin’s even from a distance of 10,000 km.

Pierre Charpin Designer and visual artist born in Saint-Mandé, France, in 1962, Charpin graduated from the École des Beaux-Arts in Bourges. He started working as a furniture and object designer in the 1990s, and has collaborated since with international brands such as Alessi, Arita 16/16, Ceramiche Piemme, Design Gallery Milano, Hay, Hermès, Japan Creative, Ligne Roset, Manufacture Nationale de Sèvres, Post Design, Taiyou & co, The Wrong Shop, Tectona, Venini, Zanotta. Since 2005, he has also been involved in an exclusive collaboration with Galerie Kreo in Paris.

In 2012, the Institut Français du Japon appointed him as the resident artist for the Villa Kujoyama program in Kyoto. He worked as a scenographer in setting up the “Oh Couleurs!” exhibition at the Musée des Arts décoratifs et du Design in Bordeaux (2007), the “mobiboom” exhibition at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs (2010), and the third version of the Design Museum, “Quali cose siamo”, at the Milan Triennale (2010). His works are showcased in various cultural institutions and museums, such as the Fondation National d’Art Contemporain, the Centre Pompidou and the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris.

In 2017, he was named Designer of the Year at the design fair trade Maison & Objet in Parigi.

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