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Studio MadsMonsen – Photographic lacquerware. Scandinavian design. Handmade in Vietnam. » About
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Vietnam has a long tradition of producing lacquerware and by combining Norwegian photographic vision with design skills obtained in the UK, “SGN by SMM” was created in 2013. “SGN by SMM” is simply Saigon by Studio MadsMonsen, our first collection of photographic lacquerware from the city we are based, also known as Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.



Mads Monsen learned the positive side to the word “Oddball” from his mentors at Central Saint Martin’s College of Art & Design as he submitted solutions to briefs that would propose a different approach all together. The encouragement and training received did shape Mads Monsen’s way of working and over a decade later, after immersing himself in the Vietnamese culture, the lacquerware line is emerging.

In a world where digital copies of images are shared faster than you can reload your web page, the SMM lacquerware lets you interact with images in a different way. Traditionally, photographic images, as objects, are displayed on the wall, on postcards or as photo books. With the lacquerware it is different. You can wine and dine on modern history by candlelights. No batteries needed.

Each lacquer piece is handmade. Every stroke of lacquer is applied by hand. Several rounds of layers are applied. It takes time, however, it it is time well spent, as the end result, when you hold it in your hands, will captivate you.

It is a different, yet, natural way to interact with photography and a perfect conversation starter.

Say it with images.


“Wonderful Machine provides art buyers with the most comprehensive source of high quality photographers doing all kinds of work, all over the world. 

 We’re selective about the photographers we show, we list them only in locations where they actually live, and only in specialties in which they are highly proficient.”



We do, on request, produce custom lacquerware for both corporate and private clients, please Contact us for further details.