Ceramic artist Pascale Girardin, best known for her large-scale ceramic installations in luxury retail, restaurant and hospitality environments around the world, has debuted three new works of art at the recently opened Nobu Downtown in New York City. The unveiling of Nobu Downtown at 195 Broadway on April 6, 2017 was the city’s most anticipated restaurant opening of the year. It heralds a revival of fine dining in the financial district, while formalizing the closing of the Tribeca location, the original Japanese-Peruvian-fusion restaurant helmed by celebrity chef Nobu Matsuhisa. Nobu Downtown also marks a repeat collaboration between Matsuhisa and David Rockwell, the prominent New York City designer who conceptualized the Tribeca locale nearly 25 years ago and has since designed Nobu spaces worldwide.
In partnership with Rockwell Group, Pascale Girardin produced three new works for the 12,500-square-foot space, influenced by traditional Japanese arts. The first is a duo of high-relief murals that grace the red Venetian plaster walls of the 187- seat downstairs dining room. The artworks, comprised of hundreds of individual textured black ceramic elements, appear from a distance as immense ink brushstrokes in the sumi-e style.
The second is a private-dining-room feature wall of glazed blocks and squares in Girardin’s signature cobalt blue. Reminiscent of boro patchwork textiles, it conceals a network of lighting fixtures that subtly set the piece aglow. The third artwork, displayed near the sake bar, is a collection of elegant rice-wine vessels, created by Girardin in honour of the Seto and Mino pottery-making traditions of south-central Japan.
“Between working with these great names and being able to pursue my passion for handcrafted ceramics inspired by Japanese arts and crafts, this project was a dream come true,” says Girardin. “David Rockwell is a designer who understands how artists engage with a space. His particular vision encourages us to stay true to our unique styles, which ensures that each project has a truly distinctive look and feel.”