“To change. Enzo Mari and the “Chestnut Tree Project”
- Curated from the Keiji Nagai collection – Thursday, 4 April ~ Sunday, 21 July 2019

Planting the “Chestnut Tree project”.

Why are we having an exhibition of the Italian design master, Enzo Mari, at MUJI?
In 2002, MUJI collaborated with Mari on a project, launching a range of 19 tables and chairs altogether. Both parties have stayed in contact since then, and one day Mari explained his outlook to us:

“In the past, design played a role to invent an outstanding standard in the name of equality. However, following a period of drastic economic growth, it has now been degraded to a simple means to sell merchandise. At present I feel rather ashamed to be a designer. Here I would like to propose a long-term project to go forward towards the future: it isn’t for financial gain in the short term, but is more like planting chestnut trees to nourish people with their fruit, and to let them relax under their shade. I believe that companies should have this kind of viewpoint”.

We agree with his opinion, and would like to think about what we could do together with you all. This exhibition introduces the basis of Enzo Mari’s works in order to plant the first chestnut tree. Then let us imagine this tree growing its branches and leaves from that moment.

-Enzo Mari

Born near Novara, Italy in 1932. He studied at the Brera academy in Milan and was working in visual arts in the 1950s, when Bruno Munari introduced him to design. He accomplished more than 1000 projects over his 50-year career. He has always been very bold, saying what is on his mind, and in doing so, has influenced our society: by talking critically about commercialism with no fear of disagreement with his clients, and explaining his own design philosophy or his idea of Utopia.

– Keiji Nagai collection

The exhibits in Gallery 1 have been borrowed from a vast post-war modern design collection personally handpicked over the last 50 years by Keiji Nagai, interior designer, who devoted much time and effort to it. Nagai was born in Karatsu, Saga in 1948. Having founded his design studio “KEY & DESIGN ASSOCIATES” in 1982, he has contributed to many cultural exchanges inside and outside of Japan and was awarded the “Furniture prize” from Denmark. In Gallery 1, we will hold exhibitions borrowing a different part of the Nagai collection for each.

Thursday, 4 April ~ Sunday, 21 July 2019
Opening times :
10:00 ~ 21:00
ATELIER MUJI Gallery 1 (6F, MUJI GINZA),Admission free
Planning collaborator :
Keiji Nagai (Interior designer)
Studio Enzo Mari
Site design:
Mandai Architects
Graphic design:
Shogo Kishino (6D)
Site construction:
HIGURE 17-15 cas
Guest curator:
Kaoru Tashiro
Planning and Management:
Household Division / Household Design, Ryohin Keikaku Co., Ltd. and ATELIER MUJI (MUJI GINZA)