April 12, 2010
Jason Lewis is back, and takes us on the second part of his sensory exploration of the urban world, meeting cool people doing damn cool things along the way. Snapping photos as he goes, Jason offers a window into some pretty unknown places. Today he meets with Kaya Sorhaindo.
I met Kaya Sorhaindo for the first time in Tokyo a few days before Halloween last year. I was in Shibuya with a close mutual friend while he and his comrades were busy traveling the world introducing the Series Two product launch for his company Six Scents. We were all ready for adventure, and Kaya went above and beyond to facilitate that.
I couldn’t have asked for a more entertaining guy, in addition to being “good people” Kaya was an overseas conduit to great food, new and interesting friends and some pretty wild parties. It wasn’t difficult to imagine him in his work element, collaborating with visionaries and enabling new and exciting projects.
Kaya Sorhaindo is the Founder & Creative Director of The Metaproject, a creative agency based in New York City. By working collaboratively through an international network of artists, designers, curators, writers, architects, and scholars, Metaproject operates as a creative mediator between brands and artists, inventing new models of communications through its work.
In 2008 Kaya (Metaproject) and Seven New York’s Joseph Quartana introduced a series of six limited edition fragrances by a distinct group of six designers and perfumers. Through the designers’ concepts and the perfumers’ knowledge of fine fragrance, two artistic disciplines were interwoven to explore new perfume compositions. The collection represents a global gamut of contemporary views on creativity, culture, consciousness and collectivity.
Kaya and Six Scents have continued into 2009/10 with six additional designers. Kaya’s collaborator Aramique described their partnership: “Exploring the idea of nature as muse, we created Series Two as a multimedia and multi-sensory collection to spread environmental awareness and preservation through experiences of nature as a symbol and source of all creativity.” Each fragrance will be offered in a limited quantity of 2,000 bottles and a percentage of the net proceeds will go toward Pro-Natura in support of their environmental sustainability programs.
I spent some time with Kaya at Metaprojects’ new offices last week to get some shots and discuss his latest endeavor.
KS: The art of perfumery is a creative discipline that I was always fascinated and inspired by, with my first introduction to the perfumer Serge Lutens. I loved the way that he approached perfume and before Six Scents I was in touch with him in regards to developing a multi-sensory exhibition that captured the experience behind his fragrance but in a curated museum space. I was first drawn towards exploring ways in which a perfume could be presented in a gallery/museum context and in collaboration with artists, but after working on the i-Dentity exhibition and conversations with Symrise for Series One, I began to investigate the idea of applying this approach to creating an actual fragrance collection.
What’s the story behind Six Scents? How did you end up with your other collaborators?
KS: I developed the concept of Six Scents initially as a marketing and Research/Development program for a client that is a global fragrance producer responsible for many of the fragrance products you see on the market today. The idea was to develop a collection of fragrances that would be released annually that worked totally opposite of their commercial / client fragrance projects and to give young designers who normally would not have an opportunity to create a fragrance a chance to apply their ideas to a totally different artistic realm. This means, putting the fragrance in the spot light alongside the designer, positioning the fragrance closer to the arts than fashion and beauty, producing small quantities as a opposed to developing a product for the masses, creating an environment where the perfumer and designer would work one-on-one to realize a fragrance concept and giving part of the proceeds to charity. The ultimate goal was to inspire the perfumers, present a project that occupied a very unique space in the fragrance market that my client could own, present fragrances in places where people do not normally engage with perfume, educate the average person that is not connected to the perfume industry about the cliet, gather data that they can present and eventually apply to their client commercial projects and challenge the ways in which people perceive, interpret and engage with fragrance.
The loved the concept, but did not have the budget to produce the entire project and pay my agency creative fees, so we decided that we would own Six Scents and just asked Symrise to become an in-kind sponsor where they provide us with the best perfumers and produce the fragrances. I than asked my friend Joseph from Seven New York to come on board as a partner to handle the curation of the designers for Six Scents.
Who and/or what inspires you? Does the fact that you’re originally from Antigua inspire anything you do?
KS: I am inspired by a wide range of people. I guess the thing that these individuals have in common for me is the way in which they respectively approached their different artistic disciplines… with emphasis on interdisciplinary collaborations, interaction or viewer engagement /participation and posing questions with their work that ultimately transferred the fields in which they worked in.
As for Antigua, I never give this much that (smile) thought. I traditionally like black and white, simply because of the power of the opposition of both colors, but Antigua is very colorful. I appreciate color. Small bursts of it when put alongside things that are very dark. As for my work, maybe with the way I like to make things more communal and collaborative. Will have to give this some more thought.
What’s next for Six Scents?
KS: We are launching Series Three in October 2010 with a new group of designers and artists.
What scent evokes happiness for you?
KS: Hmm…my mother’s fragrance (I know, such a mommy’s boy) or the smell of fresh mint makes me happy and a wide range of spices (Anise Seed, Rosemary, etc.)
What scent makes you sad?
KS: when you are unable to experience scent or smell at all. Or gutters in a small village.
What other projects are you involved in? Future projects?
KS: My agency metaproject is working with the Scope Art Fair to develop a show within the fair that is called ‘Markt’. It is a collaboration with Diane Pernet that presents unique fashion objects alongside contemporary art pieces. I am in the process of working on a new performance art / dance project with a prominent choreographer, and we also have a sound project in the works this year that is quite interesting. In February 2010, we release a project called Relics of the Now Forgotten ‘Transgressions Redemption’. I am collaborating with my friend from the V Group on a annual book project called ‘00’, Volume One to be released in September. Aside from that a mix of client and installation projects, and we will bring on two new Niche Perfume clients to mange their creative positioning and marketing. Six Scents Parfums as a company (outside of the annual collection) will begin to work with designers directly in developing their own perfume.
Is there a Kaya Sorhaindo theme song?
Probably this tune.
How did I smell last time we hung out?
KS: Haha. Hard at work. But in a good way.
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