Commissioned works by a select group of the region’s most promising designers.

UNNO at Casa Ortega, Mexico City
8th to 13th February

By Adrian Madlener / 10th February 2022

Casa Ortega

THE TERM ‘SHIRIN-YOKU’ – forest bathing – was first coined by Japanese doctor Dr. Qing Li to define the psychological practice of removing yourself from technology and immersing yourself in nature. In search of a guiding concept for their latest exhibition, gallerists Maria Dolores Uribe and Laura Abe Vettoretti sought to link this philosophy with the notion of ritual, especially as it has been applied in the management of various forests in Japan. The relatively young digital gallery focuses on the ever-expanding Latin American design scene and the richly textured, yet refined, visual language this movement has evolved.

Rutso, ???? COURTESY: ???? and UNNO

Rutso, untitled stools, 2021

Held during Mexico City art and design fair Zona Maco this week, the platform chose Luis Barragán’s iconic Casa Ortega for the atmospheric display, presenting commissioned works by a select group of the region’s most promising designers. Baja California-based duo Deceres Studio, Spanish artist Alberto Oderiz and Estudio Persona from Los Angeles were asked to take an introspective look at their ancestors’ rituals and create works accordingly.

Deceres Studio, 'Iuxta' side chair, 2021 COURTESY: Deceres Studio and UNNO

Deceres Studio, ‘Iuxta Side Chair’, 2021
COURTESY: Deceres Studio and UNNO

Barragán’s distinct garden house was inspired by a similar impulse, if not also the qualities of solitude and silence. Surrounded by vegetation, the home serves as the perfect backdrop for the distinctly monolithic and patinated capsule collection: Deceres Studio’s obsidian ‘Runa’ vases, ‘Muhro’ bronze-mirror, and burnt wood ‘Luxta’ chairs; Estudio Persona’s ‘Mesoamerican Peel’ pieces; and Alberto Oderiz’s ‘Carta de color para Casa Ortega’ installation.

Deceres Studio, 'Runa' vase, 2021 COURTESY: Deceres Studio and UNNO

Deceres Studio, ‘Runa’ vase, 2021
COURTESY: Deceres Studio and UNNO

Produced using noble materials, the works on view are both fiercely contemporary and ancient in composition. Archetypal forms and refined figurations play off larger geometric colour blocks. The garden-imbedded showcase is arranged as an almost altar-like staging. It serves visitors as a welcome respite from the hubbub of the city-wide event, perhaps also as a way to put their phones down and engage with nature.

‘Ritus, Rituals of a Contemporary World’ at Casa Ortega , with UNNO Gallery 



Article by Adrian Madlener
Article by Adrian Madlener
Adrian Madlener is a Brussels-born, New York-based writer covering a wide range of design-related topics. View all articles by Adrian Madlener