He has just completed the retouching of the exhibitions that again see his galleries in Milan as the protagonists of the week of Salone del Mobile 2022. At the Nilufar Gallery he presents young people including Khaled El Mays, Flavie Audi and Federica Perazzoli, while he is in Nilufa Depot he exhibits new projects by Osanna Visconti, Ashley Hicks, Bethan Laura Wood, Andres Reisinger, FAR and – the highlight located in the atrium of the former warehouse – works born of the long collaboration with Martino Gamper. The Tehran-born gallery owner finds tranquility in the 240-square-foot apartment where she has lived with her family for about thirty years. This duplex from the 1940s is of course also a kind of annex to Nilufar. The interior is a collection of 3D-printed design objects, contemporary art, icons of the mid-century and Italian classics, from Gio Ponti to Osvaldo Borsani. It’s hard to find someone who combines epochs and styles with Nina Yashar’s intuitive strength and simplicity.
AD: Mrs Yashar, in the past we have had the great pleasure of taking a look at your house in Milan, and each time it is always different and always new. Is your apartment never finished?
NEW. I do not think it is possible! Especially if you are doing a job like mine and are constantly exposed to new currents, formal languages and suggestions. A home is an expression of a person and its habits that grow with him. For those who are curious like me and love to have fun, the home becomes a cozy space for play and experimentation.
AD She moved here with her family thirty years ago, and yet she never gets tired of constantly renovating her home. Is change your big constant?
NEW. Yes, we have lived in this apartment for almost 30 years, and yes, it has often changed, although we have essentially preserved its structure and style. I love the rooms where I live and above all I like the small living room with the fireplace and the stairs. I have always sought aesthetics, sometimes I row towards my family, who instead want more comfortable sofas. This is our daily little quarrel! There is now a new item on the fireplace: a 3D-printed Audrey Large vase. I was so lucky to meet her a few years ago. He has his studio in Rotterdam. I love his way of thinking and working because he manages to combine digital and analog processes with each other. Rarely am I so excited about small items that I take them home … But these vases have won my heart.
TO. How do you decide which furniture or artwork to bring in and which to take away?
NEW. My job is primarily this, to create living environments: I constantly mix furniture and accessories that fit well together. Now my instinct drives me. I do not think so much about it anymore, everything happens with extreme naturalness. I would say that the important thing is to be able to create a place decorated with objects that are “concerned”, suggestive, aesthetically pleasing and beloved, and – last but not least – also functional.
TO. Is there anything you could never separate from?
NEW. I think of Florian Schmidt’s work over his bed or of Carlo Mollino’s chairs in the dining room, which have followed him for a while. He’s absolutely right! For me, the Florian Schmidt fan that I have in the bedroom is absolute perfection. The shape is so unusual and interesting, almost magnetic to the eye. Mollino’s chairs are the flagship of the dining room; they were the starting point for the decor of the whole room. They also influenced the choice of Kerstin Brätsch’s painting. The colors match so well that I can no longer imagine the space without them.
TO. His gallery is one of the absolute musts in Milan; during Fuorisalone, hundreds of spectators meet every day to wander through its rooms. Does this put you under pressure, or can you calmly accept all this attention?
NEW. Anyone who claims not to be under pressure during the Furniture Week in Milan is lying. If you work in this sector, this is the most important time to show your study, the work of recent years and of course meet collectors and collectors, designers, insiders and the press. How can you not be under pressure? It is clear that I am preparing in the best possible way and I receive great support from my team. A hint of uncertainty is always left, but that’s how it should be. This year we will be presenting more than twenty designers’ works, while I am already planning the design week in 2023 in mind.
TO. Last year, he exhibited at Nilufar Depot Andrés Reisinger with physical furniture, video works and NFT works that were sold out even before the opening. In Milan, she was among the first to devote herself seriously to digital design: how do you manage to stay curious and open to new ideas?
NEW. After all, curiosity is my vital elixir. It engages me every day and it is also my biggest challenge. Andrés is not only a digital artist and designer, he has a very special way of thinking and creates objects that fascinate me. His love of detail, experimentation and his approach to the digital world correspond to Nilufar’s philosophy.
TO. We live in a time of sensory overload: there is so much to see, digitally and analogously. How do you recognize quality design?
NEW. I understand that an object is of good quality when it breaks a pattern from the past, while preserving its functionality and yet being interpreted in a decidedly new form. When this happens, I am excited to the maximum and feel a “vital boost of excitement”, a real energy boost.
TO. I once read that he loves to take risks. Is it a kind of philosophy of life?
NEW. Frankly? My passionate advice is above all to believe deeply and always in yourself.