January, 2016

Oji Masanori x Mjölk

January 13th, 2016

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We will be hosting our third retrospective exhibition of Oji Masanori during the 2016 Toronto Design Offsite Festival. This year is particularly special because we have commissioned and collaborated on a collection of lighting designed by Oji Masanori and produced using local Canadian artisans and small manufacturers.

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Please join us for the opening reception Wednesday, January 20, 2016 from 7:00pm – 9:00pm Mjölk (2959 Dundas Street West, Toronto).

Furthermore, we will be hosting a TODO Talk: Join Melanie Egan (Head of Craft & Design at Harbourfront Centre) and Oji Masanori for an interview about his studio practice and the current collaboration. Saturday, January 23, 2016 from 11:00am – 12:00pm. Please RSVP through the Toronto Design Offsite Festival website.

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I was first introduced to Mjölk five years ago and had the chance to get to know John and Juli. Mjölk, part shop, part gallery, has since become one of my favorite destinations.

John has contacted me about Mjölk Made; a collaboration between designers, the shop, and local Toronto manufacturing. I flew into Toronto so that I could immerse myself in the culture of the city. I was curious about lifestyle, interior layouts, room sizes, and the ways in which people lived.

This trip resulted in a lighting project that was to utilize the craftsmanship of a historic brass company located in the city. I was able to visit their shop, meet the makers and better understand their processes and limitations.

For this exhibition, I have designed two pendant lamps; simple shapes that share subtle details of quality, form and materials. I devised them so that balance and harmony can be felt and seen.

The Hemisphere Pendant resembles a large mobile, playing with various materials, scales and sizes. The smaller brass hemisphere is pointing light down towards a table, while the big copper hemisphere lights up, towards a ceiling, shedding light indirectly over an entire room.

The Diamond Pendant has a brass balancer and an LED light bulb. The fixture can be carefully touched and moved in order to adjust height and position.

I designed these two lights for Toronto. They were created out of an image of a Torontonian, a Canadian, who lives peacefully and considers the people around them, respecting differences while living in a complex and diverse city. From my visits to this city, I think, people in Toronto are very skilled at combining, mixing and blending culture with simplicity.

Mjölk, as a curated space, shares this cohesive blend. It is the perfect mix of international design and Japanese craft. I hope for these collaborations to continue to connect people and carefully crafted objects, to bring peaceful products all over the world.

- MASANORI OJI

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