Maison Monsen celebrates cultures through their crafts, specifically those related to clothing and adornment. Each thematic project culminates in the creation of a limited edition collection or exposition, with media varying from couture to performance. The intention however, is singular: to celebrate humanity's diverse forms and expressions of cultural identity in order to advance awareness of our essential sameness, our shared consciousness and emotional experience.
We seek to engage with artists and artisans in a way that values craft as art, that recognises research, documentation and commemoration of craft as work towards the preservation of intangible treasures of world heritage.
At the same time, in having a contemporary conversation with historic artefacts and ideas, we have an opportunity to re-imagine, re-contextualise and create new 21st century craft-based artistic processes and encounters.
Maison Monsen founder, Prerna Chainani-Monsen, received her Bachelor degree in International Relations from the London School of Economics (1997) and a Masters in International Affairs, Business & Technology from The Elliot School of International Affairs, George Washington University (2000). She worked in investment banking and hedge funds for many years before committing to creativity.
After a decade in (mostly, Brooklyn) New York and another back in her hometown of Hong Kong, she now lives in London with her Norwegian husband, Thor. Vintage family film and photos tell the stories of their contemporaneous 70’s upbringing - her's in the Far East and his in the far North. Both children of manufacturing family businesses, both encouraged to see the world and engage with different cultures, early in life. It is that system of common human values, one that transcends geographies, that is at the heart of Maison Monsen’s endeavour.