Sex d'Ameublement: 桃色/ the color of peaches by Hiroshi McDonald Mori

November 25, 2017



In Helsinki I drink kahvi. It’s the cheapest drink, only 2 euros with a refill included. I once had a refill, trying to make the most out of my 2 euros. My heart trembled on my way home. Finnish coffee is strong. 

At the HIAP we have coffee morning on Thursdays. The Kaapeli residents take the ferry at 9:20 to Suomenlinna to join the others on the island. You have to be quick for the yoghurt with red berries because it’s the first thing that goes. 

My studio has no coffee table. Not that coffee tables in their modern fashion have much to do with coffee. In the 60s they became en vogue because they were low enough not to obstruct the view on the TV.  Nowadays people with laptops prefer a chaise to put on their feet. 

Hiroshi McDonald Mori's’s coffee table might not be one. The lava stone could refer to Japan where low tables are common for tea ceremonies. Yet the heavy glass top on the other hand might be a reference to the Noguchi coffee table which was invented in 1947 by the Japanese-American designer Isamu Noguchi.




Hiroshi lists Stromboli lava stone and Lasa marble as his materials for the sculpture. I remember him telling me so when I saw the work for the first time during the Berlin Art Fair. Since seeing it there, it has been in the back of mind. Coffee tables are an interesting phenomenon in the history of furniture, but Hiroshi’s one has an additional vibe. 

I know that Hiroshi has done a tea ceremony talk at the Jan van Eyck Academie. He sent me the text, which consisted of fragments of The Book of Tea by Okakura Kakuzo, written in 1906, footnoted with excerpts from Semiotext(e) issue Polysexuality, published in 1981. When sex and zen meet. 

There’s only one artist particularly known for working with the form of the coffee table, and that’s Allen Jones. Fibreglass models of semi-naked women support the glass top. “Is Allen Jones’s sculpture the most sexist art ever?” The Guardian still asked in 2014, some 45 years after its making.

Hiroshi’s work is titled 桃色 / the color of peaches. Peaches are a voluptuous tasty fruit, often used as a food metaphor for the vulva. On the web I find out that peaches is a code word for a quick sexual release with no strings attached. 

The legs of Hiroshi’s sculpture are in the color of peaches. They’re pipes and combined with the hot lava and the cold marble sexual chemistry comes about. 

How does something as petit-bourgeois as a coffee table lead to sex? Satie wrote furniture music (musique d’ameublement). What about a sex d’ameublement

*  The artist told me that the color of peaches is a literal translation of the Chinese pictograms, Peaches and Color, which is used in Japanese language to say, Pink.

In Helsinki I drink kahvi. It’s the cheapest drink, only 2 euros with a refill included. I once had a refill, trying to make the most out of my 2 euros. My heart trembled on my way home. Finnish coffee is strong.  At the HIAP we have coffee morning on Thursdays. The Kaapeli residents take the ferry at 9:20 to Suomenlinna to join the others on the island. You have to be quick for the yoghurt with red berries because it’s the first thing that goes.…


In Helsinki I drink kahvi. It’s the cheapest drink, only 2 euros with a refill included. I once had a refill, trying to make the most out of my 2 euros. My heart trembled on my way home. Finnish coffee is strong. 

At the HIAP we have coffee morning on Thursdays. The Kaapeli residents take the ferry at 9:20 to Suomenlinna to join the others on the island. You have to be quick for the yoghurt with red berries because it’s the first thing that goes. 

My studio has no coffee table. Not that coffee tables in their modern fashion have much to do with coffee. In the 60s they became en vogue because they were low enough not to obstruct the view on the TV.  Nowadays people with laptops prefer a chaise to put on their feet. 

Hiroshi McDonald Mori's’s coffee table might not be one. The lava stone could refer to Japan where low tables are common for tea ceremonies. Yet the heavy glass top on the other hand might be a reference to the Noguchi coffee table which was invented in 1947 by the Japanese-American designer Isamu Noguchi.




Hiroshi lists Stromboli lava stone and Lasa marble as his materials for the sculpture. I remember him telling me so when I saw the work for the first time during the Berlin Art Fair. Since seeing it there, it has been in the back of mind. Coffee tables are an interesting phenomenon in the history of furniture, but Hiroshi’s one has an additional vibe. 

I know that Hiroshi has done a tea ceremony talk at the Jan van Eyck Academie. He sent me the text, which consisted of fragments of The Book of Tea by Okakura Kakuzo, written in 1906, footnoted with excerpts from Semiotext(e) issue Polysexuality, published in 1981. When sex and zen meet. 

There’s only one artist particularly known for working with the form of the coffee table, and that’s Allen Jones. Fibreglass models of semi-naked women support the glass top. “Is Allen Jones’s sculpture the most sexist art ever?” The Guardian still asked in 2014, some 45 years after its making.

Hiroshi’s work is titled 桃色 / the color of peaches. Peaches are a voluptuous tasty fruit, often used as a food metaphor for the vulva. On the web I find out that peaches is a code word for a quick sexual release with no strings attached. 

The legs of Hiroshi’s sculpture are in the color of peaches. They’re pipes and combined with the hot lava and the cold marble sexual chemistry comes about. 

How does something as petit-bourgeois as a coffee table lead to sex? Satie wrote furniture music (musique d’ameublement). What about a sex d’ameublement

*  The artist told me that the color of peaches is a literal translation of the Chinese pictograms, Peaches and Color, which is used in Japanese language to say, Pink.

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