"Science? What is science?" quips Marsel Lesko amusingly. We were both kneeling down amid a smattering of stones in the first floor of the Gessi boutique at Penang Road, and he's about to prove that I can balance a stone atop of another. For the last ten minutes, I've failed at least three times, and asked the wild-haired Lesko what the science behind it was.
The Albanian's a self-professed "life master" and "sculptor of spirit", and before we were introduced, I already had my reservations. It isn't everyday you're asked to take off your shoes and to bring the masculine and feminine stones together to "create energy". In fast-paced Singapore, you barely have time to stop and smell the roses, let alone balance heavy stones.
Yet this session with Lesko is vital to understand the latest collection from Italian bathroom furnishers Gessi. First introduced to the market at this year's Milan Furniture Fair, a series of bathroom taps called Equilibrio encapsulates just what Lesko is preaching: Balance. For a design manufacturer with its own private wellness department, Gessi has tapped into the right mind to front this entry. The 41-year-old is a writer, actor, director and musician who Gessi CEO Gian Luca Gessi stumbled upon while walking along a Sardinian beach a year ago. Approaching Lesko, who was putting stones in a circle and balancing them, the CEO was taken by the artist's response when asked what he was doing: "I'm producing energy".
Luigi Leonetti, commercial director of Gessi shares this with me on the second floor of the showroom. We were surrounded by dream bathroom settings, think: Sleek metals, curvaceous sinks and tubs with such luxe finishings, you could sleep in them. Prior to our conversation, he had proudly showed off the Equilibrio collection of bathroom taps, where pebble-shaped fixtures were arranged atop bases or left on its own. As soon as your palm envelops a tap, it sets off energy like no other. Skeptics might just be proven wrong — just one touch and you'll instantly get it. Lesko was right — there is energy in the meeting of two objects. Surely that instant sense of calm meant that a balance of elements has just occurred, right?
Leonetti looks triumphant as I began to walk around the table, fixing my palm on every tap. My fingers curved rightfully, lifting each tap up and gently placing it down. It all feels so organic — like second nature — as opposed to tugging and turning ridiculously futuristic rods or dynamic-looking geometric shapes adopted by other taps. Oak and stone are the main natural materials used in this collection, while its base comes in a choice of 11 finishes. With endless combinations, no two fixtures will be alike.
Designer Maurizio Scutellà was responsible in adapting Lesko's state of balance in the nature of the tap's design. What was a natural sculpture is now given new life by way of a functional piece, something that also highlights the vitality of water as it flows from the spring and now, the tap. Think about it: Your day starts and ends with the touch of a bathroom tap — might as well make it all the more worthwhile.
The Gessi showroom is located at 165 Penang Road.