The Art of Conversation: Aï Kato & Jean-Philippe Bonnefoi2023
The Art of Conversation: Aï Kato & Jean-Philippe Bonnefoi
Talking to Paul Holdengräber, design, architecture and literature lead a discussion of taste with Aesop’s creative minds
Paradoxically, taste is a matter of taste. Yet, the arts and our environment dissolve into creativity and the human psyche through osmosis, becoming reflections of the world we build around us. Quiet interventions within design and literature, art and architecture, are capable of constructing an aesthetic identity where none is intended, and for Aesop, its referential nature is borne entirely from the minds that conceived it – simply as the product of a philosophy, shared.
In the second of two films, created in partnership with Aesop, director Catherine Hyland captures the human approach to art and culture that feeds its philosophy. Opening up the conversation once more, American interviewer, curator and writer Paul Holdengräber engages with Aesop Creative Director Aï Kato and Head of Retail Design, Europe and Global Innovation, Jean-Philippe Bonnefoi, following the influence of art, architecture and great thinkers on the brand’s DNA. Comprehending Aesop’s principles through the simplicity it rests upon, Kato applies a critical eye to making the mundane exceptional; respecting the perfection of natural materials out of respect for the body, through meticulous care in their preparation.
From Aesop’s flagship store on London’s Regent Street, the film considers how deliberate actions and the illumination of thought translate into its understanding of the world – and its locations. For Bonnefoi, it’s about finding order in life so as to disrupt it creatively; following the rhythms of nature and embedding themselves within the natural order of their environment. Through his reflections, we explore the parameters of the brand and the harmonious expansion of these boundaries in the spaces Aesop inhabits; the art of disappearing, to be smelt before seen, yet maintaining an elegance that transcends its perception.