Zouganista di Tafakumi Mochizuki is both an artisan and artist from Tokyo, Japan but he is currently living and working in Florence. His work inspired us so much that we’ve decided to visit his studio with our made in Italy high quality furniture, setting a photoshoot and interviewing him, and now we would love to share some of that inspiration with you all:
– In social media you like to use the phrase “Born in Tokyo, made in Florence” what brought you from Japan to Florence?
“Born in Tokyo, Made in Florence” is a phrase that encloses my human path and professional: I was born in Tokyo, but all my artistic production is strictly “Made in Florence”. In my creations I always try to mix these two souls, fusing the spirit and harmony of my culture of origin with Italian style and refinement.
All this is done in order to create something new, unique, personal, original every time. Why did I choose Florence? Simple: because we are talking about a city that is unique in the world, which has always been a craft of quality and artistic craftsmanship, as demonstrated by an example is also the past and present history of the Oltrarno (a district where I still work today).
– What do you think that Japanese and Italian culture have in common?
In Japan there are two different “philosophies” which are called 温 故知 新 ONKOCHISCIN and 侘 び 寂 び WABISABI that I discovered to be very close to the Italian mentality. These two visions of the world offer us two very precious teachings that I have also found here in my Florentine experience. That is: “to create something new, you have to learn from the lesson of the past” ; and two, “we must respect the story behind every ancient thing”. When I restore an object, in fact, I never try to “transform it”; I look for instead of exalting its history, its soul, its past. Even its small imperfections.
– What was your first experience with restoration?
I made my first restoration while I was at my teacher’s ‘shop’, in the very first months of my Florentine experience. It was a neoclassical style chair dating back to the 19th century Century. I still remember the emotion of that moment…
– What are your favorite things about Italy and skills of the Italian people?
I love Italy: its history, its culture, its cities so different from each other. But more than any other thing, I love the people of this country. Not to mention fashion and design: it’s here where style and quality of Made in Italy reach their highest level.
– What is your favorite Italian artist which you take inspiration from?
It is never easy to give a single name. But having to choose, I say Gio Ponti. Why? Because of his style, which is simple and engaging at the same time. And for that very unique way he has to respect and enhance every type of material he uses… from ceramics to wood.