Usva Utu Sumu | Thomas Berra @ Zazà Ramen
“I have painted a picture, not very clever. It is something that you understand immediately, as soon as you look at it. A good painting to go to the beach with on Sundays, a good painting to eat. It is not a very irreverent painting. Briefy, a painting like me, that I have lost all of my teeth. A painting for anyone who doesn’t want to bark or to growl, a painting just to paint.”
Thomas Berra, altered text from Parole Contro la Paura
Zazà Ramen sake bar & restaurant, together with UNA Gallery from Piacenza, is happy to announce Usva Utu Sumu by Thomas Berra, a wide, evocative, and dreamlike wall painting that runs along the walls of the restaurant dining room and that will accompany its clients from September 2021.
In the artworks by Berra, born in Milan and currently living in Finland, greenery meets dreamlike landscapes, animated by subjects that seem to come from a fairy-tale or an enchanted world, where man is one with nature, in a sense of perfect community. Dreams are an essential element in Berra’s work. The artist, strongly inspired by the dreams present in Fellini’s movies, recalls the Italian director’s movie Il Libro dei Sogni in his work. The title of the site-specifc intervention for the restaurant in Via Solferino is Usva Utu Sumu, three Finnish terms that describe the word “fog”. Here, a series of masked fgures seem to foat on the wall, caught in a fctional conversation set in a magical garden, surrounded by mysterious plants and fowers. The usual green palette that characterises Berra's work is here complemented by yellow, red, orange, and light blue; the infuence of the colours that animate the landscapes and nature around Helsinki, where Thomas now lives and works, becomes clear.
What brought together Thomas and Brendan Becht, the owner of Zazà Ramen, collector, and promoter of the project, was not only their love for art and painting, but also their passion for cooking and for sharing food as a moment of sociability, dialogue, and mutual discovery. To pay tribute to Ramen, the Japanese dish and the specialty of Zazà's cuisine, the artist has created a series of ceramic bowls, identical in shape and size to those used in the restaurant, hand painted with elements that recall the wall painting. Thus, the connection between art, food, and the convivial moment of eating together is reinforced, giving a unique opportunity for meeting up and sharing to those who love both food and art.
by Brunori Sas
Thomas Berra, Usva Utu Sumu
September 9 2021 - February 28 2022
via Solferino 48, Milano
opening hours: Monday - Sunday 12:00 pm - 3:00 am || 7:00 pm - 11:00 pm www.zazaramen.it
tel +39 02 3679 9000
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Thomas Berra (*1986, Desio, lives and works in Helsinki) studied at the Brera Academy of Fine Arts. Among his main exhibitions: Once in a Blue Moon, Spazio Leonardo, Milano; Katso Merta: alle volte mi scordo di guardare il mare, Kuja Gallery, Helsinki, (solo), FIUR, curated by Ivan Quaroni, Civic Museum Magazzini del Sale, Palazzo Pubblico, Siena, (solo), Tree Time, curated by Andrea Lerda, Mountain Museum, Turin; Tutti dobbiamo dei soldi al vecchio sarto di Toledo, curated by UNA, Spazio Leonardo, Milan, (solo); Il Paradigma di Kuhn, FuoriCampo Gallery, Siena, and Studio O2, Cremona (2018); Stupido come un Pittore, Villa Vertua Masolo, Nova Milanese; So long (Arrivederci), Fondazione Pastifcio Cerere, Rome; Verde Indagine (solo), Placentia Arte, Piacenza; Dopo il diluvio (solo), Villa Vertua Masolo, Nova Milanese; Carrus Navalis, Dimora Artica, Milano; Souvenir, Palazzo Mezzanotte-Piazza Afari, Milan; THOMAS (solo), Room Galleria, Milan; 81⁄2, (solo), Spazio 1929, Lugano; CIAO (solo), Mana Contemporary, Chicago, USA; Casabarata (solo show – works completed in residency in Tangier, Morocco), Banca Sistema, Milan; Crises and rises, Palazzo delle Stelline, Milan; CIAO (solo), Room Galleria, Milano. In 2020 Thomas was artist in residency at Lapinlahden Tilajakamo in Helsinki. In 2018 he was among the shortlisted artists for Premio Cairo and in 2017 he won the 6artista Prize and was in residence at the Fondazione Pastifcio Cerere in Rome and at Schafhof – European House of Art Upper Bavaria, Freising, Germany. In 2014 he founded Subculture fanzine, a collective publishing project exhibited at Edicola Radetzky, Milan; in 2013 he was the winner of the Unicredit Prize with a solo show at Superstudio Più, Milan.
+39 02 3679 9000