Interview: Vanessa Rau opens the doors of Japan

This week, we went to meet Vanessa Rau influenced by Japanese culture since her childhood, this passionate merchant opens the doors of her universe full of poetry and delicacy

Who are you ?

My name is Vanessa Rau, I'm going to be 38 years old and it's going to be 8 years old on the 1st of october that I opened my stand in Serpette I'm specialized in Japan all times.

What is your background ?

I'm graduated from a business school and a DESS in international management of arts and culture of France. Then I worked for Jacques Boulan editions, a publisher of contemporary art that unfortunately no longer exists. We worked with artists like Arman, Combas and Erro and we made limited editions of prints and sculptures. I was in contact with many galleries in Europe and spent my time to traveling. In 2007, I went to Asia with my backpack and a holiday/work visa in my pocket. At the end of the journey I arrived in Japan and finally stayed for 2 years. I had the idea to come back and open a contemporary art gallery. When we are interested in the contemporary Japanese art one is necessarily obliged to take an interest in its history.

What kind of objects do you present?

I present several types of objects (ceramics, furniture, paintings, small collectibles), ranging from antiquity to modern and contemporary. I present only favorite objects To be able to defend objects, I must love them. I realize that it's the same thing for clients. It's an encounter between an object and a person who will only be the tenant, because the object survives us. Pieces had an history before and will have one after, that's what I like in this activity. I try to have a wide range of prices to encourage young people to buy and to renew the customer base constantly. I like trying to initiate taste of collection. My customers are between 20 and 90 years old. Sometimes I sell to Japanese people objects that I found in Japan.

Where does your passion for Japan come from?

You know Club Dorothée? We ate Japanese cartoon and Japanese cultural code all our youth I read a lot of manga There are a lot of references to Japanese culture, history, parties I think Japan is magical because when we open a door, there are ten others that open behind We've never finished digging the subject

Why did you choose to take a booth in Paul Bert Serpette?

My parents are big clients of fleas. When I was a child, we came here sometimes three times a month. I knew the place very well. It's a hub, the largest antique market in the world We can reach an international clientele that we would never touch it alone. I think it's the last place of real freedom we have in France. We have exciting customers of all types.

Do you have an item that you want to highlight?

I have these two trays called obon (trays in Japanese), circa 1930-1940. They fit into each other and this is a beautiful set. These are pieces that I have found in Kyushu island. They are very interesting because we have two types of lacquer. A Wajima lacquer (famous city in Japan for lacquers where many lacquerers workshops still work today), and a Shunkei lacquer. This one represents a trunk tree. In transparency are represented leaves that we can barely see It's a great delicacy

Vanessa Rau booth 11 alley 3 Serpette