Far away. The creation of unique objects through manual work and a dreamy gaze turned towards the southern hemisphere and the sea lanes sailed by Corto Maltese.
There's a story behind these objects. A love story first of all, and then one of travel and dreams. In a nutshell, Tumahi was not created at the Grottaferrata Chamber of Commerce but was conceived through the meeting of Valerio Sibilia and Aurora Ruffini when they were both students of industrial design at La Sapienza University. They fell in love, graduated, and in 2013 took a plane and flew eighteen thousand kilometres away, destination Polynesia.
After ten months, it was as though they'd found a new way of navigating. They'd seen the world's greenest seas and most luminous skies, yet still grew nostalgic at the thought of the Mediterranean. They craved their roots precisely because they'd worked so hard to uproot them. In those distant lands they looked around them for fragments of Italy in the cookery, in fashion, in art, before eventually deciding to go home and create Tumahi, which today is a company with four employees.
Trying to describe what they do isn't easy. Think of one of those horrid balls that Ikea sells, or maybe the moon – yes, the moon is perfect. Cover the surface with shades, filaments and doodles, dirty it and let it explode as though it was made of Japanese flowers or Rodin's bronze filaments. Think of the spheres, the planets, blue, luminous, smoky, phosphorescent, splashed with colour as though Jackson Pollock had been at them.
That's sort of what Tumahi is – walking into somewhere (a sushibar? a house?) and being propelled into a place even further outside than the outside you've just come from, yet which at the same time is host to a plethora of interiors. Those balls, those mysterious monads which hide who-knows-what behind their veiled facades.
The story has been written by Vins Gallico, writer.
In the Maori language, Tumahi means "project", the perfect name for a young, colourful, affordable brand of interior furnishing.