Marou x NGS

The National Gallery Singapore, houses the largest collection of modern Southeast Asian artwork in the world. The gallery sought to partner with Marou Chocolate to release a range of products for their store—to represent Vietnam and their architecture.

The Gallery comprises three distinct spaces: historic, modern and transcendent. We created a set of icons based on these themes. Marou conceived three flavours they found congruent. Standard chocolate was used as a ‘control’ in the historic bar. Chile infused chocolate expressed the modern tree structures which connect the two buildings. Sea Salt chocolate was chosen to represent the transcendent, light-dappled atrium.

Rice sought to wrap the bars in an authentic and traditional Vietnamese art. Đông Hồ, a traditional print-making art form, which originated in a small village in the North of Vietnam was the answer. Everything in the process is hand-made. The paper is made from Mulberry bark, with a sparkle added from crushed nacre. Red pigment is derived from terra cotta, green and blue pigments are from natural indigo plant parts, Black ink comes from charred bamboo leaves, and the white pigment is powdered shell. We worked with a family who have been practicing this art form for 500 years (21 generations). Bridging ancient Vietnam with a modern structure in Singapore, we created motifs using the icons, and commissioned the artisans to create hand-cut printing blocks, to print each wrapper. Each bar of chocolate is then wrapped in a unique piece of Đông Hồ art.

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