Just when we think that everything has already been done and we have already seen everything comes someone with an idea as simple as it is brilliant. In 2016, gallery owner Giacomo Guidi and architect Giorgia Cerulli created Contemporary Cluster, a space based on the concept of contamination.
It is a place made completely available to several artists exponents of different disciplines, who occupy its different environments, turning it into a place where to actually find a real representation of the contemporary art scene.
Born inside Palazzo Cavallerini Lazzaroni in Rome, last year Contemporary Cluster moved and inaugurated its new headquarters inside the beautiful Palazzo Brancaccio in Via Merulana 248. To date, the building is divided into 4 main spaces: Tube, Gallery, Apartamento and Cave, inaugurated a few months ago.
It is within the immense open space of Cave, and thanks to the collaboration with Ginnika and Drago Publisher, from March 17 to April 9 Lupo Horiokami will present “Ceremony of Separation”.
Born in 1979, Lupo Horiokami approached the world of art as a teenager through drawing, and then continued by opening his own tattoo studio and collaborating with tattoo artists from all over the world. After twenty years in the world of tattooing he became interested in design and architecture, starting to design and create objects and sculptures characterized by minimalism and cleanliness of form.
“Cerimony of Separation” will be his first design exhibition in which the artist will present a collection through which the concept, but also the moment, of separation between people, is analyzed. The path created by Lupo Horiokami with his works will take the viewer on a journey that will end with a demonstration of how the beauty and power of the ceremony can alleviate the pain caused by separation.
The world and the cultures in which “Ceremony of Separation” has its roots are far from ours, so we asked Lupo Horiokami to tell us how the idea of the exhibition was born, what inspired him, but not only.
What is your background? How did you begin your artistic journey?
My path comes from drawing and tattooing. I believe that a passion for the visual arts is the basis of everything, imprinting that many people develop at an early age. The first approach to drawing was in 1993 when I began to be passionate about street culture, from hip hop to writing, and I began to study “graffiti” feeling the drawing as a means of communication. Even though I was very young I already felt the communicative power of certain artistic expressions.
In 1998 I began to be interested in the world of tattooing: my interest was born because I felt a great attraction to many designs that I saw tattooed. My curiosity is still the basis of my artistic growth and also the reason that allows me to never get tired of my work.
I threw myself so hard into drawing and studying traditional and modern tattoo culture that after getting inked I decided to pursue a career in tattooing.
I studied tattooing as an artist and even before as a craftsman, I realized that the thing that gave me the most satisfaction was the creative process of a craftsman with an emotional drive that only art can convey. In the end, I worked and studied for 23 years trying to convey and communicate my vision of tattooing and beauty, I did many different things and tried various styles before finding my way, although the Japanese culture has always been the common thread. Over the years I have studied everything that is part of Japanese culture, from religion to calligraphy, from design to fashion, from folklore to general culture.
My background is really made of a thousand things and all the experiences I’ve had in my work and travels, every single experience has given rise to a thousand stimuli for as many ideas and projects. Now after refining my tastes I’m trying to pursue projects not only related to the art of tattooing but to a broader discourse on communication and the potential we have to create to communicate our vision of the world.
What are your sources of inspiration? Are there cultures, countries or artists that you follow and find in your art?
My sources of inspiration are many, as I explained before I draw from everything that interests me. I think true inspiration comes from a kind of dream, something that is perpetually shrouded in clouds, but on a sunny morning it comes out clear and bright in front of you making you aware of something that has always been there but you couldn’t see.
Anyway, Japanese design and everything related to a kind of minimalism has always been in my heart, I began to appreciate fashion and architecture and study the Deco and the art of the ‘900, and from there on all the French and German brutalism, Le Corbusier, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, the currents of Italian futurism, Filippo Tommaso Marinetti, Giacomo Balla, until you get to Carlo Scarpa, to whom I am particularly attached since he is my fellow citizen.
“Ceremony of Separation”, which you are exhibiting at Contemporary Cluster, is your first design collection. How and why did you approach this discipline?
Yes, it was finally time for me to carve out a space in the beautiful setting of Palazzo Brancaccio in Rome. Contemporary Cluster and I worked on this event and I publicly thank them for their support: there was an immediate harmony, many of the things I wanted to express were immediately understood by the curator Giacomo Guidi.
I approached this discipline through the desire to create not only drawings but also real objects that could be touched and appreciated through the passing of time.
My desire for creativity and my passion for craftsmanship and art have brought to fruition the project of studying the realization of each piece of the exhibition, being not only the designer of each piece but also a fundamental part of each project, making use of collaborators and artisans in my area who have supported me with all their energy and professionalism.
What is the basic idea behind “Ceremony of Separation”? What role do the materials and shapes you choose and select play?
The basic concept of “Ceremony of Separation” is a very emotional one, related to the impertinence of life itself. My experience in Japan led me to discover a non-permanent view of life, which inevitably passes and burns out like a candle. When we see someone move away before they disappear forever we begin to process a long and torturous separation process: after a major loss we inevitably enter into a kind of separation ceremony.
This concept was developed after a bereavement.
The materials I use may be noble, but I am not particularly attached to the luxury of materials but to their natural value, with all their pros and cons. The common thread between them is the sign of time and their basic imperfection, the concept is purely wabi-sabi, a Buddhist concept based on the acceptance of the transience and imperfection of things. This view, is sometimes described as “imperfect, non-permanent and incomplete beauty”. This concept is present in every work I do, a sort of minimalist vision that allows me to express an aesthetic linked to imperfect materials that undergo the slow erosion of time and the passing of days, but on the opposite side dream of eternal life through their hardness and heaviness: marble, solid wood and bronze carry on a sort of struggle against the inevitable passing of time.
This is the concept of separation through a natural cycle from which we cannot escape. With this collection, I’m trying to convey concepts like this, which remain entirely personal and multiple and can be interpreted under other forms of thought.