Thabisa Mjo – 1st South Africa Designer at the Museum of Decorative Arts in Paris

The renowned Musée des Arts Décoratifs (MAD, Paris) has acquired two landmark pieces by South African designer Thabisa Mjo of Mash T. Design Studio for its permanent collection. Mjo is the first local designer to have work included in this prominent international museum. 

The notable Parisian institute was founded in 1905 and its permanent collection is dedicated to the exhibition and preservation of the decorative arts. The museum houses over 150 000 objects that epitomise the Art of Living and illustrate the heights of craftmanship. MAD Paris’s collection stretches from the Middle Ages through to modern times, and includes contemporary pieces by the likes of legendary designers such as Le Corbusier and Philippe Starcke. 

I am completely thrilled,” states Mjo, “to have my work represented on the international stage and as part of an important permanent collection, following my earlier exhibition at Bonne Espérance.” 

MAD Paris has acquired one of Mjo’s now iconic Tutu 2.0 lamps and an eye-catching Mjojo cabinet. Both pieces came to the museum’s attention because they were part of an exhibition of Mjo’s work at the Bonne Espérance Gallery, located in the centre of Paris, which ran from 19 June to 10 August 2019. Bonne Espérance Gallery showcases work that is unique for its originality and diversity, and represents artists and designers hailing from the creative geography of South Africa and its neighbouring countries, Lesotho, Swaziland, Botswana and Namibia. 

If MAD, Paris is anything to go by, then it certainly has! Mjo’s product design company Mash.T Design Studio is based in Johannesburg and it is from here that she creates her unrivalled forms that blend African traditions with contemporary nous. Thanks to these two new permanent acquisitions on the part of MAD, Paris, which serve to raise the global status of South African design as a category, her individual star is set to shine even more brightly.

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