FOOD, ART AND FASHION: AN INTERCULTURAL DIALOG
Kevin Pineda (fashion photographer and chef originally from Philippines, who grew up in the UK) and Pascal De Wolff (former Dutch top model debutted with Prada) are the owners of The Room Studios. As they said to JL Interviews, it all started with a gallery/bar in Rome, founded by Kevin in 2011, named The Room. That space became a well-known meeting place for artists and creative people from all around the world to exhibit their work and meet other interesting minds. After closing its doors in mid 2013, the spirit of The Room Gallery lived on and is now embodied in a new initiative, called The Room Studios, still in Rome.
The Room Studios includes a photographic studio, the gallery and the Wolff Tree Lounge Cafe, and experiments with new trends and ideas in food and drinks. The gallery is a platform, created for both new and experienced talented artists, to present and expose their work. Debutting gallerists, Kevin and Pascal, in collaboration with our magazine, will take part in Biennale Martelive: Open Gallery. On 9 December, 2017, they will stay opened until late presenting the works of young international artists such as Hannes Uhlenhaut and Winnie Seifert (Germany), Lorenzo Fontanesi (Italy), Maria koshenkova (Russia) and Joris Kuipers (Holland).
In this interview, JL Interviews wants to focus on Kevin and Pascal and their past, showing their incredible talent, worth noting. Our magazine and Martelive Festival think a dialog between different cultures is what they reresent best. They said: “We believe that the power of mankind is the collective ability to cooperate flexibly; by combining our skills and knowledge we achieve extraordinary things. Our Lounge Cafe and The Room Studios is a place where interesting, creative individuals meet and become part of it”. The Room Studios is one of those places you can’t forget and always you want to go back to.
You came from and lived in different countries (Holland, Philipines, The UK) but in the end you met in Italy and decided to build this place together. Whos idea was it to open The Room Studios? How did it happen?
P: Since we met, we noticed we work well together and always had plans to collaborate aside from fashion. Kevin already had a gallery/bar before we met, that he named The Room Gallery. So we used that part of the name for our current organisation and incorporated much of the same concept that made his previous gallery so successful.
K: It was both our idea to reopen the Room Gallery after it closed years ago. We’ve always been a good team and wanted to do something new together. So we met up again in Asia and spoke about business opportunities, and that’s when we decided to set this up.
Why did you choose Rome as a place to live and work? Do you believe you can live here forever?
P: Kevin’s previous place was also in Rome and he lived here for many years. It was a convenient location to start. But I do not plan on living here forever. I like to keep moving around until I find a nice place and a good reason to settle down.
K: I chose to come back to Rome because I lived here before and still have my family, friends and connection.
You both are strongly connected to the fashion world. You, Pascal as a former fashion model and you, Kevin, as fashion photographer. Did you meet for the first time during the Fashion Week in Milan? If not, where?
P: We knew each other by name before, but a mutual friend got us in touch.
K: We met right after fashion week through a friend.
Pascal, what made you quit modeling? Don’t you miss important shows, beautiful clothes and the atmosphere behind it? How would you describe that period of your life and your work for Prada? Do you miss it?
P: As a model I knew this career doesn’t last long, and you don’t have much control of its duration. I knew that after working for Prada, there was a lot of work coming. When I noticed that my career had reached its climax, it felt like a good time to slowly transition to something new and use that momentum to take matter in my own hands.
Kevin, you published your shoots in many international fashion magazines and you worked in architecture too. Which of your works, and for whom are your best and why? Are you working on something new?
K: I am always aiming to work with the best and do my best in every field. In fashion I’m currently working a lot with Hunger Magazine based in London, collaborating for shoots and during fashion weeks here in Italy. I can say that I’m still working my way in architecture too and now I’m going into furniture design. I’m trying to put together my own collection and production here in Italy.
Your bar-gallery-studio was designed by you and made by you. You are a very active business pair and full of initiative, helping young artists to emerge. Who, so far, had his exhibition in your place? Who will be next?
P: We’ve had art photographer Lorenzo Fontanesi, Hannes Ulhenhaut who works with porcelain sculptures and painter Winnie Seifert, conceptual artist Emanuele Resce, Michele Spina, Makoto and Saverio Magistri.
K: Next up is Dutch artist Joris Kuipers and Maria Koshenkova who works with glass and stone and leather art pieces. We try to show many different kinds of art and design.
Why is The Room Studio different from other places in Rome? Who come here? Fashion/Art people, Italians or mostly foreigners? What’s your attraction? What do your clients appreciate the most?
P: What makes us different is the combination of being a lounge cafe and a gallery, which attracts quite interesting people that are often into fashion, art and design. The fact that we focus on this part in everything we do, is well appreciated by our guests
K: We try to create a certain type of environment, let’s say a more friendly and safe atmosphere for foreign, international people and creatives. Our main goal is to create a community of artists to have a place to collaborate with each other. The clients so far appreciate the interior spaces we have and also the ambience.
Your life was always changing, now you stopped for a while, I mean you opened this Gallery in Rome. To be who you are maybe you needed some examples. Are there some books, philosophies or masters that guided you?
P: Nothing in particular.
K: Not really. Both of us are always traveling and taking on new adventures constantly. We try and do things on our own terms and never really follow any common paths.