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Kyoto by Way of Paris
Lyon-born Sandra Jollet had long been fascinated by the holistic philosophies associated with shiatsu massage, having been exposed to them at a young age by her father, an acupuncturist and shiatsu therapist. But it wasn’t until she visited Japan that she decided she would one day open a ryokan-style spa of her own in France, a vision that has now come to fruition with Maison Suisen, located in the heart of Paris’s popular Marais district. From the moment guests walk in the door, Maison Suisen embodies the concept of omotenashi, or the art of hospitality, asking each visitor to select from an assortment of organic teas procured from Japan that they then brew and serve after treatment. In addition to other services, guests can choose between traditional shiatsu, on tatami and futon, or a more contemporary setup with massage table and aromatic oil. From $130, suisen.fr.
As an art student at the University of Brighton and then the Royal Drawing School in London, the now 28-year-old artist Somaya Critchlow noticed a dearth of depictions of Black women in Western art. “I was feeling isolated, so I thought I would confront myself,” she says of deciding to draw her own body. “As soon as I started drawing myself nude, I started to enjoy myself.” These self-portraits soon evolved into a broader celebration of Black femininity, one showcased in her first monograph, “Somaya Critchlow: Paintings.” Referencing disparate influences — Renaissance and rococo portraiture, the surrealism of Leonor Fini and David Lynch and the unapologetic carnality of pop stars like Cardi B and Nicki Minaj — Critchlow depicts curvaceous women, often in varying states of undress, inhabiting an ambiguous zone between sexualized object and playfully independent subject. $40, artbook.com.
Pieces With a Sense of Place
Handcrafted objects by international artisans are the raison d’être of En Place, a new digital shop for home décor that is the brainchild of Alexis Kanter, a creative consultant and former market editor at Vanity Fair. From a playful raffia-and-clay table lamp by the Spanish ceramist Marta Bonilla to a graphic black-and-white chair upholstered in hand-loomed natural wool by the Guatemala-based store Meso Goods, the curated selection is presented against a chic editorial backdrop that includes maker stories and city guides, adding context and narrative to every piece. “I wanted to create a marketplace that you could shop online, but also in an experiential way that wasn’t traditional bricks and mortar,” says Kanter. Later this year, En Place will also collaborate with a handful of hotels (including Hôtel le Sud in Antibes, France, and Lisbon’s Santa Clara 1728), allowing guests to shop their wares with the click of a button. “I like to think of it as a reimagining of the hotel gift shop,” she says, “making it seamless to bring home something meaningful that really tells the story of a place.” From $24, en-place.co.
Fragrance Inspired by Korean Culture
While shopping at a beauty store in Seoul a few years ago, the couple Su min Park and Wonny Lee realized that, though the shelves were filled with Korean products, the fragrance section offered only familiar Western brands. And so Park, a photographer and art director, and Lee, a marketing executive, who live in New York City, decided to start Elorea, a modern fragrance brand inspired by Korea’s rich history and culture. “We were at a time in our lives where we wanted to get closer to our roots and culture,” says Lee. A portmanteau of “elements” and “Korea,” Elorea launches with four distinctive scents named after the four trigrams adorning the South Korean flag: Heaven, Earth, Water and Fire. After extensive research, the couple sourced ingredients from various regions of South Korea, such as citrus from Jeju, which they mixed with camellia and nutmeg for the warm notes of amber and leather in Fire. From $170, elorea.com.
Like many of us, the Brooklyn-based artist Elliott Puckette has spent the pandemic taking solace in what she can control while making peace with what she cannot. Her ninth solo exhibition with New York’s Kasmin Gallery, which will also publish her first major monograph later this year, showcases her characteristically precise yet expansive line paintings alongside her first foray into sculpture, a medium she’s long wanted to explore. Early attempts with plaster of Paris, wire, paper and clay did not pass muster. “It was an absolute disaster,” Puckette says. “Then I realized it wasn’t something I could do on my own; I needed to hand it over.” Cast in bronze by Workshop Art Fabrication in Kingston, N.Y., the two sculptures in the exhibition, “Random Walk” and “Pivot,” represent a natural evolution of Puckette’s career-long commitment to the line by manifesting it in three-dimensional space. What once meandered along inside the confines of the canvas has now broken free. “Elliott Puckette” is on view at Kasmin Gallery from Jan. 13 to Feb. 26, kasmingallery.com.
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