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    Humberto da Mata

    Humberto da Mata

    1. Where were you born and where are you from ?

    I was born in Brasilia, Brazil in 1987. I’ve been living in São Paulo for the past 11 years.

    2. What is your first memory connected to the art world ?

    I’ve been interested in manual activities since quite young, as a child I really liked painting, paper pulp experiments, origami, cutting shapes in colored paper. I have always been aesthetically stimulated and studying in a Waldorf school when I was a child presented me to the possibility of artistic creation at an early age.

    3. Have you always worked in the art/design field ?

    I graduated in architecture and worked a few years in the field, but the day to day of architecture didn’t please me, in the experiences I had there wasn’t much creative freedom. I still do some isolated work in architecture; It is a field I’m still interested in today.

    4. What led you to the design creation ?

    After going to a workshop held by Humberto and Fernando Campana, I got in contact with a very free way of thinking design, this experience showed me that small-scale objects are more dynamic for my creative expression. After that I moved to São Paulo, worked with them for a short period  and then started to create and produce my own pieces.

    5. How would you describe your creative process and it influences ?

    I prototype a lot. My process is very manual, so the making is central to learn how my ideas can exist physically. I do some sketches sometimes, but often the pieces are born in the atelier,  especially the ones in paper pulp and ceramics.

    The inspiration comes from various sources; the work itself (the day-to-day in the studio, learning  to manipulate the materials in different ways) and the will to develop a more powerful work. I am  also researching a lot of sculpture artists and how they deal with materiality in their work.

    6. Could you describe a typical day of your work ?

    In the mornings I work a little from home, mainly emails and phone messages. In the afternoon I go to my studio and work with office tasks and the atelier, this distribution varies a lot from period to period. Often, I work at night – this period is, for me, the best for creation and the quietest when I  need total focus.

    7. Why did you choose the specific materials you work with ?

    Fabric, ceramics and paper pulp are the main materials I work with. They appeared in my production at different periods, but they are materials that allow me to do this handmade work. I  also have suppliers of materials that I use in conjunction with those mentioned. They are local  suppliers of carpentry, steelwork, painting and upholstery structures. 

    I have started with hand weaved and stitched pieces, some of them still in production after 10 years  of studio. After some years, I also started to work with ceramics and paper pulp, these moldable  materials give me a lot of formal freedom and new possibilities of typologies.

    8. What are the technical particularities of your creations ?

    9. What advices could you give to beginning artists who would like to create sculptural design works ?

    Don’t be afraid to experiment and try new ideas. Study what has been produced and seek inspiration from various sources.

    10. If your works had to belong to a design movement, in which one would you define it ?

    Italian Radical Design movement. (I wish)

    11. What designers and artists have influenced you ?

    Humberto and Fernando Campana, Ettore Sottsass, Gaetano Pesce, Alessandro Mendini, Wendell Castle. 

    12. What contemporary designers do you appreciate ?

    13. What contemporary artists (in any kind of art) have you been inspired by ?

    Arlene Schechet, Lucas Simões, Erica Verzuti, Kenneth Price and Maria Martins.

    14. If you had to summarize your creations in one word or sentence, what would it be ?

    Studio process.

    Proust Questionnaire with very short answers (one or a few words) :
    (The Proust Questionnaire is a set of questions answered by the French writer Marcel Proust. Other historical figures who have answered confession albums are Oscar Wilde, Karl Marx, Arthur Conan Doyle, Stéphane Mallarmé, Paul Cézanne…)

    1. What is your idea of perfect happiness?


    2. What is your greatest fear?


    3. What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?


    4. What is the trait you most deplore in others?

    Lack of empathy

    5. Which living person do you most admire?

    My friends

    6. What is your greatest extravagance?

    A horse

    7. What is your current state of mind?


    8. What do you consider the most overrated virtue?


    9. What is the quality you most like in a man ?

    To be an authentic person

    10. What is the quality you most like in a woman ?

    To be an authentic person

    11. Which words or phrases do you most overuse?


    12. Which talent would you most like to have?


    13. If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

    14. What do you consider your greatest achievement?

    A design career in Brazil

    15. If you were to die and come back as a person or a thing, what would it be?

    A  bird

    16. Where would you most like to live?


    17. What is your most treasured possession?

    My friends and family

    18. What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?

    Lack of empathy

    19. What is your favorite occupation?

    To be

    20. What is your most marked characteristic?


    21. What do you most value in your friends?

    The way we support each other

    22. Who are your favorite writers?

    Julio Cortazar, Vinicius de Moraes and Sartre

    23. Who is your hero of fiction?

    Don’t have any

    24. Which historical figure do you most identify with?

    25. Who are your heroes in real life?

    People that don’t lose the capacity to see  beauty in the day-to-day life

    26. What are your favorite names?


    27. What is it that you most dislike?

    Lack of respect

    28. What is your greatest regret?

    Not getting rid of some fears earlier 

    29. How would you like to die?


    30. What is your motto?

    Create to exist

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