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The mood of Johanna de Clisson founder


From her Parisian studio, Johanna de Clisson sculpts form, giving life to a series of hybrid creations. Following the pure vocabulary of white and round lines, her luminous sculptures evoke multiple imaginations.


On the border between art and design, Hiromi borrows from architecture its graphic contours and brutalism. Drawing on the industrial photographs of Bernd and Hilla Becher, inspired by the light of Tadao Andō. Johanna develops a rich and hybrid language of signs transposed through a raw and ascetic aesthetic line. A circle, a semi-circle and a cylinder.


Like Objet 24, the ceramics, with their stubby feet, bulbous caps and large gaping eyes, astonish and captivate. Whether lamps or creatures, Hiromi’s luminous objects give free rein to the imagination.

Objet 29 by Hiromi © Emilie Molinero

What was your first shock?

aesthetic shock?


“The Starck citrus press that I received on my twelfth birthday. At that time, I didn’t understand all the design codes and references, but I was fascinated. Even as a child, I could see myself in his boldness and creative humour. I admire the innovative way he looked at design in the 1980s. Perhaps it was my rebellious side that was already emerging, in contrast to too much classicism at home. I often think of this image, which is always very inspiring.”

Juicy Salif by Starck1990

How did your creativity manifest itself when you were young?


“I took drawing and painting classes at a very young age. I spent hours making little architectural models with my shoeboxes. I liked things that were precise, very polished and meticulous. When I entered the Arts Décos, I specialized in photography. I loved still life on large formats. I worked a lot with light. Always full of baroque inspirations, vanities and chiaroscuro. Today, I have put aside this aesthetic to concentrate on a vocabulary that is more essential. But I have kept this rigour and this idea of photographic series. To create in series, to bring a coherent and accomplished proposal.”

What was your creative intention in founding Hiromi?

© Hiromi

“Today there is something very ephemeral about design. So when I thought of Hiromi, I really wanted to imagine objects that went against the trends by creating a series system. The work of Bernd and Hilla Becher inspired me a lot for that. It’s the fact that they travelled around Germany with the same point of view, in large format, without perspective, that makes their work so incredible.

Bernd & Hilla Becher, Gaz tank, 1966

I value the notion of work in creation: working again and again on the same proposal in order to legitimise it and make it less opportunistic.”

What has shaped and influenced your taste?


“My inspirations are very rich but they are always the same ones that come back and carry me. Architecture is the common thread in my research. I am very influenced by the creative approach of Tadao Andō.

Le He Art Museum by Tadao Andō © Chen Xiaotie

Hiromi © Adel Slimane Fecih

Trying to find strength in extremely simple things. In his essays Thoughts on Architecture and Landscape, he explains that architecture makes sense through a very limited vocabulary of materials and forms. Alongside this very pure and elaborate universe, more playful references have been grafted on to the relaxed design of the 1970s, Memphis and Italian counter-design. It’s a vision that I find myself in a lot.”

Jordan and Iskra Grabuloski, 1974

Playgrounds by Marguerite Rouard and Jacques Simon, 1976

Hiromi © Adel Slimane Fecih

Your inspirations are transversal across the arts and fields, how do you transpose this dialogue into your creations?

Johanna De Clisson founder of Hiromi

“My objects are like hybrid creatures, in which I transpose and mix a multitude of different inspirations. Afterwards, you find yourself in one, and less in others. It’s this hybridity that I like. When I created Objet 24, I came up with this very strange shape. With this big foot, this bulb and these four gaping eyes, I thought of the Becher water tower.

Objet 24 by Hiromi

We are immersed in the architectural aesthetics of the Bechers, of Tadao Andō. That of brutalism and minimalism. But also in Miyazaki’s landscapes with their little characters. What I like is that everyone can project their personal imagination.”

Hiromi © Emilie Molinero

What is your relationship with colour?


“When I started out, I was seduced by the work of Ettore Sottsass. Already in series, I was putting colours and stripes on all my ceramics. Then I swept away the stripes and the colour. I moved into my studio and was able to develop my own proposal. White appeared to me as an obvious choice, it was impossible to go back to colour. I had the feeling that colour was locking me into one style too much. White allowed me to set a framework. Paradoxically, it was very liberating for me.”

Why this desire to work with a limited vocabulary of shapes and colours?


“Colour and form are my two safeguards. Defining a creative vocabulary has been beneficial for my aesthetic line. I work around three self-imposed shapes: the circle, the semicircle and the cylinder. There are no right angles in Hiromi’s work. I hope that will come, but for the moment I am trying to play with these archetypal shapes and create coherence. It’s very stimulating to work with established constraints, precisely in contrast to the ever-changing trends.”

Hiromi © Gaëlle Rapp Tronquit

Objet 2 by Hiromi

Do you feel you are playing when you create?


“Completely. These three forms are like totems. The idea is to be able to discover all the possible combinations, nothing is fixed. I was very much inspired by the Simonnet and Duplo outdoor games of the 1970s to imagine my PLAY ON series.

Play On Objet 1 series by Hiromi

Playground designed by the Simonnets

Play On Objet 2 series by Hiromi

Play On Objet 1 series by Hiromi

Play On Objet 2 series by Hiromi

Playground designed by the Simonnets

I love this idea of learning the basics, playing with a triangle, a square and a round, like a child. More broadly, all my objects stem from this reflection. Deciphering shapes one by one, multiplying them tenfold and then offering them as plug and play, like a large tetris. It’s a way of desacralizing creation, everyone can play with my shapes and make them their own.”

How do you bring form and function into dialogue?


“My creations have the appearance of a lamp and yet I call them Objects. I like to work on the border of art and design, on the border of form and function, putting aside functionality to focus on form. Playing with signs allows me to open the door to interpretation. Where function can be quite restrictive, I choose not to put the term lamp on my designs. Playing on the ambivalence of my objects to stimulate the imagination. They take on the appearance of a luminary but also that of a sculpture, a fictional creature or an architecture. As if I were saying “this is not a lamp”. ”

Hiromi © Gaëlle Rapp Tronquit


A shape that makes you creative?




“The circle for its symbolism of balance and harmony, of femininity too.”

Music that puts you in a good mood?


“The Blaze, Territory, I always listen to music in the studio, it focuses me in my creativity.”



An artist who soothes you?


 « Tadao Andō »

Pullitzer Art Foundation in St Louis by Tadao Andō © Robert Pettus

La maison koshino by Tadao Andō

An architectural building that inspires you?


“Villa E-1027 by Eileen Gray in Roquebrune-Cap-Martin.”

Villa E-1027 © Centre Pompidou, Library Kandinsky, Fonds Eileen Gray

A memory that makes you nostalgic?


“My grandmother’s house in the South of France.”

A place that makes you meditative?


“A sailing boat in the middle of the sea.”

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