by Laura Daza
The finding of a hidden Moroccan treasure, in the heart of the Shoreditch area in East London, was a surprisingly delightful spot to discover. Is Hassan Hajjaj’s retail shop and creative space, in which the juxtaposition of the Northern African culture with West patterns, can be seen in this unique space of interaction for design lovers. A display of blending colours; a collage of prints; furniture made of recycled materials with a Moroccan style, is a pleasure to admire and feel once you get inside. It can be said that the aesthetics of Hassan’s work may be considered a carnival of colours and textures transmitting a powerful energy that merges tradition and pop-culture.
Hassan Hajjaj is an interdisciplinary artist, photographer and designer based in London, who was born in Larache in Northern Morocco. His style and taste was modeled by the rhythms and idiosyncrasy of this enduring multiethnic culture. Foremost, this eclectic artist moved in 1973 to London putting down roots and growing up between artists, music and folk traditions that constructed his creative vision and reinforced his cultural heritage.
Cultural syncretism is perceived in the life of Hassan by merging cross-cultural plots of music; clothing; body language and behaviour patterns. (Canevacci, 1993) There appears to be a significant exchange of ideas and visual images, as a means of communications; it is not just about the image itself, it is about the hidden meaning it transmits by reflecting the values and beliefs of his Moroccan culture. Sustainability and recycling is essential in his designs by using, fibers, wood, cans, packages, plastic that amalgamate with each other and uses the unsubtle repetition of motifs symbolizing the Moroccan language.
He invites people and a community to gather together and enjoy a exquisite cup of Moroccan tea and coffee in his lovely shop. Hassan´s installations have been part of the V&A Museum, British Museum and he has shown his work and traditions all around the world.