Some days ago I had the pleasure to meet Jan Andreu, manager of MUJI Spain. He introduced me the most interesting project of the brand: Found MUJI.
Found MUJI is a concept that has been brewing since 2003, but it wasn’t until 2011 that the first MUJI store in Tokyo was converted into the store where the best ‘finds’ of the brand were gathered. ‘Exploration and Discovery’ is their leitmotiv: 11 years ago they headed towards wherever in the world they were produced by artisans the objects that have been present during the last of the years, silently but essentially in a culture or tradition. This is what I like the most of the concept, the awareness of the value of the handmade stuff and the stories behind each product. I think it is a step forward in terms of quality and personality that are (almost) never be able to have all those things that are mass-produced.
‘Rather than just making things, MUJI has always taken the stance of ‘searching and finding’ a lifestyle. We search throughtout the world for items that have long been used in daily life without ever going out of fashion, improve on them a little to fit changing lifestyles, culture and customs and reproduce them at a reasonable price.’
They look for small producers not only in Japan and China but also in other parts of the world: Thailand, South America, France and even Spain. Late last year, the craftsmanship of our country together with the Portuguese came together in a Found MUJI exhibition in Tokio, it was called Found MUJI Iberia. The whole journey of exploration that started in 2003, is now put into words and pictures in a 458, limited edition book, a kind of documentary that gathers images from the places, traditions and products that have inspired them the most to bring up the Found MUJI essence. On each page there is a picture and a short text in Japanese, Chinese and English. Leafing through the book, whose pages are super curious because they are ‘double’ (you can see that detail in a photo below), we find ceramics, wood, glass, fabric, wool, food, household items and even places and people.
In short, it is really inspiring and makes me wonder about the value of things produced by hand. Hope you find it as interesting as I do!
All photos by me.
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I didn’t receive any compensation from any of the brands mentioned avobe
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