Jean Pelle Journeys Back Into South Korea’s Vivid Landscapes

The lighting and furniture designer teams with Calico Wallpaper to translate her father’s bucolic photographs into an entirely new medium.

Memoir by Pelle for Calico Wallpaper

Jean Pelle recalls wandering through fruit farms and wet rice fields with hilly forests during her upbringing in a small South Korean town. “My father would bring his camera on our long walks,” she says, “and make my brothers and I pose in the tall grasses or thickets of the pine trees.” These vivid memories stayed with her, even decades after immigrating to the U.S. and launching the Brooklyn lighting and furniture design studio Pelle with her husband, Oliver. Now, thanks to a collaboration with her close friends and neighbors, the wall coverings mainstay Calico Wallpaper, she’s translating her father’s old photographs into an entirely new medium.

The collection, appropriately called Memoir, recalls the lush landscapes embedded in Pelle’s memory. Each of the six patterns represent scenes from her childhood, from the rich textures of tall pink-and-white cosmos flower beds to swaying grassy hills and dense pine forests. They were developed from drawings she made using oil pastels—a medium she gravitated to as a child. “I’m thrilled that together with Calico Wallpaper, we can bring these vivid memories and snapshots of the South Korean landscape to life,” she says. “It’s a large-scale representation of the albums my father put together of rich textures and memories of my first home.”

Memoir by Pelle for Calico Wallpaper

All images courtesy of Calico Wallpaper.

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