Native materials and colors, and the typical patterns of two regions in Peru, reinterpreted in crafted objects that get beyond their folk connotations. This is the project Encounter under the Sun of the Gods promoted by the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Tourism of Peru and supervised by the Peruvian designer Ricardo Geldres and the Brazilian designer Marcelo Rosenbaum.

The latter is well known for his social design projects done with communities of Amazon natives. Rosenbaum was one of the first to apply a method that involves artisans in the design and production process, creating small self-sufficient companies to generate prosperity.

The 72 pieces on display, part of a large collection of textiles and crafts, pass on the know-how of two Peruvian regions, Ayacucho and Lambayeque, in the working of sheep’s wool and cotton. The craftspeople selected from the two areas could rely on the technical help of the Ministry’s centers for technological innovation (Cite).

Groups of specialized artisans and non-governmental organizations were involved in the project. The large carpet with three-dimensional off-scale fruits, for example, was made by a community of women who are victims of domestic abuse.

Rosenbam’s strategy is essentially to break with traditional schemes while conserving cultural identity, as he explains: “We wanted to reconnect artisans with the tradition of their predecessors, to strengthen territorial ties. At Lambayeque the working of cotton dates back to the Inca period, as does the activity of embroidery, but these techniques have never been combined.

Traditional graphic motifs have been presented on a new scale and juxtaposed with new designs, like common letters or inscriptions. Besides cotton, jute was also used to create tapestries that narrate the life in villages. Figures of ancient divinities and elements of everyday life mix in an explosion of colors.

Ayacucho also has an ancient crafts tradition, reinterpreted through a leap of scale of graphic patterns and their partial, off-center or decontextualized use in an abstract way. We played with the symbol of the snake typical of Inca culture, and with other typical animals like the lama, which have become Pop paintings, Warhol-style.”

The project continues after the FuoriSalone, focusing on the market of collectors with an auction at MALI, the Museum of Art in Lima, and other appointments in the world to raise awareness of Peruvian culture from new perspectives.

Photos by Emanuele Zamponi – Text by Valentina Croci

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Brazilian designer Marcelo Rosenbaum, curator of the project “Incontro sotto il sole degli dei,” has experience with various social design initiatives involving communities in the Amazon.
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The crafts of the Peruvian regions of Ayacucho and Lambayeque, known for the working of sheep’s wool and cotton, reinterpreted through variations of scale and typical graphic motifs.