Indian architectural practice Studio Mumbai presents a new furniture series at Brussels design gallery MANIERA

MANIERA gallery presents the second exhibition of Indian architectural practice Studio Mumbai with the gallery. Three years after the first show - with acquisitions by SFMOMA in San Francisco, LACMA in Los Angeles and Centre Pompidou in Paris - Studio Mumbai launches a new furniture series as the result of an ongoing process of refinement and study in material, form and function.

Studio Mumbai and its founder Bijoy Jain have developed a body of work that references aspects of both Indian and Western cultures. What sets the studio apart is a unique combination of tradition and modernity. The studio works collaboratively with local artisans, craftspeople and draftsmen to design and build projects through an explorative creative process. This includes large scale mock-ups, models big–and–small, material studies, sketches and drawings.

This process of seeing, thinking and making is also inherent in the production process of the furniture. The act of making is embodied, both viscerally and physically, in the works. The studio can move fast and can progress an idea from paper to prototype. This often results in a spontaneous, multi-layered process with no linear structure. Material, form and function operate as non-hierarchical elements next to each other.

The furniture and objects for MANIERA - a daybed, a console, a lamp, a bench, a folding screen and a series of chairs - are inspired by local resources and traditional Indian crafts as much as they refer to ancient Egypt artefacts. Yet, all of these designs are highly contemporary. The references to the historical artefacts are motivated by the fascination for the level of sophistication and refinement they contain.

The exhibition at MANIERA could also be seen as the result of an intense and profound material research. Celebrated for his ability to work with humble materials, Jain has used a similar approach to create a range of hand-made furniture objects for MANIERA. The materials are quite universal - and can be found in India as well as Europe - but some of them are quite uncommon for furniture: rudimentary materials like stone, brick and cowding or subtle materials like textile, glass and Japanese washi paper. New in this show is the use of natural pigments and lime to make fresco’s.

Studio Mumbai
18 May - 24 August 2019
27 – 28, Place de la Justice
1000 Brussels

Micha Pycke