Mamimozi for the Union des Grands Crus de Bordeaux
To mark its return to Japan after a four-year break, the Union des Grands Crus de Bordeaux called on the artist and calligrapher Mamimozi to produce an artwork celebrating the 50th anniversary of the UGCB, which was created during a trip to the Land of the Rising Sun. Here is her interview.
Can you tell me about how you got into the world of calligraphy?
I was 9 years old when I created my first calligraphy piece during a kanji class (studying Japanese ideographs) at primary school. It was love at first brush stroke. When I came home after school, I immediately shared my newfound passion with my parents, and asked them to sign me up to a class in a specialist school. Every week, I dedicated several hours to this activity, and when I was 17, I decided to become a professional calligrapher. I was highly involved in fine arts and turned towards calligraphy without hesitation, since it was the means of expression that resonated the most with me.
"My aim was to transmit something joyful and positive, by sharing the sensation that I felt, by trying to convey the warmth and colour of Bordeaux great growths..."
What inspired you to create this specific calligraphy?
The written word is “atatakai”, an intriguing Japanese concept which has several interpretations and meanings, creating an interesting parallel with the UGCB’s values.
First of all, I chose this word after studying the 2020 vintage presented this year: a warm climate and grapes of exceptional quality, producing very fine wines. I also chose this word because it evokes sweetness, love and a cosy atmosphere, to represent a specific moment, a reunion, that of the UGCB’s representatives and the Japanese after a four-year break. Then when I thought about the Bordeaux region, the sun’s rays, the atmosphere and the people came to mind. My aim was to transmit something joyful and positive, by sharing the sensation that I felt, by trying to convey the warmth and colour of Bordeaux great growths.
When did you fall in love with wine?
In Japan, there is not really a wine culture like in France. As soon as I had the chance to taste wine during dinner with friends, I was instantly in awe! However, I’m not a connoisseur and I prefer to ask sommeliers for their wine recommendations. My main criterion is food and wine pairings. The wine and the dish need to complement each other, the different ingredients should marry together perfectly.
What is your relationship with Bordeaux Great Growths?
While the name is of course very well-known, I never had the opportunity to taste Bordeaux great growths. When I was offered this project, it awakened my curiosity. I was delighted to have the chance to discover this universe. This tasting was a real experience: discussing with producers, tasting their wines, getting a feel for their terroirs… It was a truly unique occasion!