The National Gallery Singapore is a new art museum occupying the former Supreme Court and City Hall sites in downtown Singapore. The gallery houses the largest, most comprehensive collection of modern South East Asian artwork in the world. The gallery was keen to partner with Marou Chocolate and co-brand a range of chocolate bars for their store, which would represent both Vietnam and the exceptional architecture of National Gallery.
The Gallery is comprised of three distinct spaces: Historic, Modern and Transcendent. We created a set of icons based on these themes. With the spaces identified, Marou were able to conceive 3 flavours that matched them in spirit. Standard chocolate was used as a ‘control’ in the historic bar. Chile infused chocolate represented the modern tree structures which connect there two buildings. Finally, Sea Salt chocolate was chosen to represent the light dappled atrium.
Our next challenge was to properly represent Vietnam. In keeping with the hand-made nature of Marou chocolate, Rice sought to wrap the bars in an authentic and traditional Vietnamese art form. The clear choice was Đông Hồ, a traditional print-making art form, which originated in a small village in the North of Vietnam. Everything in the process is hand made. The paper is made from Mulberry bark, with a sparkle added from crushed oyster shell. 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 simply powdered shell. We worked with a family whom have been practicing this art form for 500 years (21 generations). Bridging ancient Vietnam with a modern structure in Singapore, we created motifs using our icons, and commissioned the artisans to print each wrapper. Each bar chocolate then, is wrapped in a unique Đông Hồ price of art.