By the time the name of Rohuna (a remote Moroccan location some 60 kilometres south of Tangiers) crossed paths with Umberto Pasti, he was already an established garden designer of international fame. He was born in Milan and studied philosophy. He is also a writer, art and literature critic, collector and aesthete. Books such as Jardines. Los verdaderos y los otros, La felicidad del sapo or, the most recent, Perdido en el paraíso provide an eloquent account of how his understanding of life is linked to the very nature which man seems intent to destroy. “When a plant disappears, a form of life disappears”, he is used to saying. In his particular paradise in Rohuna, he has dedicated two decades to bring together 1,200 indigenous species, about a hundred of which were on the verge of extinction. He divides his time between Milan, Tangiers – where he met Paul Bowles and Juan Goytisolo – and his particular paradise in Rohuna, proving that dreams can come true.
Ngoc Minh Ngo is a Vietnamese-born American self-taught photographer whose work explores the intrinsic beauty of plants and nature. Her sense of aesthetic is informed by the landscape and light – the changing moods of the coastal village in Vietnam where she was born. Years later, she discovered the photography of such masters as André Kertész, Jacques Henri Lartigue, and Robert Frank, and realised that, as she had learned from reading Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, “The essential is invisible to the eyes”, a truism that steers her work. She’s a regular contributor to top line magazines such as T Magazine, AD, Cabana o House & Garden and her books In Bloom and Bringing Nature Home have been published by the prestigious Rizzoli publishers.
Umberto Pasti and Ngoc Minh Ngo talk with Sofía Barroso manager of cultural events, specialised in art and gardens.
Video of Rohuna 2020: © Ngoc Minh Ngo
Photography of Umberto Pasti: © Ngoc Minh Ngo, courtesy of Around Art
Photographs of Ngoc Minh Ngo and Sofía Barroso: courtesy of Around Art
Coorganised with Around Art. With the collaboration of Acantilado Publisher