Here’s one to visit when the latest lockdown is lifted. SoShiro is a new art, craft and design gallery encompassing five floors of a Georgian townhouse in London.
The gallery’s debut exhibit, The Ainu Collection, encompasses furniture, accessories and objects exploring the craft of the indigenous people of Northern Japan, including work from award-winning sculptor Toru Kaizawa.
Based in Marylebone, SoShiro is a 360-degree cultural hub that not only produces, curates and showcases collections inspired by global cultures but also acts as a creative incubator and event space.
The new gallery is the brainchild of Shiro Muchiri; a Kenyan-born, Italian-trained interior architect, designer and curator. Today, Muchiri oversees the curation of SoShiro’s collectible artefacts and collaborates with artists and designers all over the world to create special pieces exclusive to SoShiro.
“Having spent my life working in the design industry I wanted to establish a platform that celebrates all kinds of aesthetics, not just those from a certain provenance as there are so many stories to tell – stories with real people at their core.” Muchiri explains.
“Underlying every collection and collaboration is the commitment to breathing new life into artisanal communities and sustaining historic craft. In addition to giving designers and artists a platform to exhibit their own work, we like to bring craftsmanship from very different regions together. For instance, for our debut exhibit there are beautifully executed medicine/wellness cabinets that incorporate wooden handles intricately carved by the Ainu people of Northern Japan. It’s incredibly exciting to bring these two very different practices together and see what happens when they merge.”