Featured image for The MAHO GAIWAN Project Symbolizes The Light In The Dark

The MAHO GAIWAN Project Symbolizes The Light In The Dark

by Chloe Gordon on 02/08/2022 | 4 Minute Read

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A curated artist collaboration featuring four distinct candle scents inspired by timeless memories unlocked by the GAIWAN.

Symbolising a light in the dark and guide to illuminating the spirit, the act of burning candles embodies a sense of healing, purification, and ritualistic cleanse. Designed to reset and immerse the holder in an all-encompassing moment, MAHO Sensory Candles come to life when lit. Believing in the power of engaging all five senses, MAHO Gaiwans unlock the mind and open the door to an unforgettable escape.

Curious in their story and design, each MAHO Gaiwan Candle embodies a time and place curated by a Melbourne-based artist. Unique in their background and style, each collectable piece reveals a memory, a place, a moment in time captured by the creator. A personal journey revealed through burning, each candle unveils a sensory getaway with each discovered note.

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Honouring artefacts and ceremonies from the last imperial dynasty, MAHO Sensory Candles blend artistic influence with ancient design. Igniting a journey across the five senses, MAHO celebrates Australian craftsmanship with four traditional Gaiwan vessels reimagined by leading Melbourne-based artists. Distinct in their shape and story, Surreal Flower, Evergreen, Kawaii Kids, and Happy Hour encapsulate each artists’ voice and style, sparking a luxurious escape through scent and design.


Brewing sensual aromas of green, white, and oolong tea, the Ming Dynasty Gaiwan is delicate yet functional in its structure and design. Reflective of the ancient practice of savouring steeped tea leaves from the concave Gaiwan lid, scent enthusiasts are invited to enjoy the fragrance of each MAHO Sensory Candle before igniting the aromas. Each vessel has been designed to be repurposed as a collectable statement piece or part of a modern teaware collection once burning is complete.

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For centuries, candles have been used as the light in the darkness of life and illuminating one’s spirituality through healing, purification and cleansing. MAHO introduces a candle series featuring the GAIWAN tea vessel and four unique fragrances now unlocked for the very first time.

BrandWorks, in collaboration with lifestyle brand, MAHO SENSORY and founder, Joshua Tong, introduces its luxury SENSORY CANDLE series, featuring emerging Melbourne artists in the creation of its brand identity to packaging design.

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Inspired by the music festival Woodstock in 1969, at the height of the flower power movement, the 3-day festival brought together artists and people to celebrate and inspire each other to 'give peace a chance.' Artist Lukas Kasper applies his distinctive street art illustration style for a psychedelic-infused antidote to being free to express yourself.

Blending reality with abstract design, Surreal Flower pays homage to a place of gritty earth, soul, and flower power. Grounding delicate tiaré with tobacco and bitter orange, this sweet escape of ecstatic dreaming and hazy nights is smoothed with caramel and sweet vanilla. Soft, earthy, and surreal, Woodstock’ 69 drives creativity and a free state of mind.

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Top notes: tuberose, Tiaré flowers, lily Mid notes: caramel, vanilla, orchid, patchouli Base notes: berries, bitter orange, tobacco

Happy Hour

Set in the period of Art Deco in New York, the golden age of American architecture, skyscrapers and grand hotels provide a striking and visual backdrop to a time of pure elegance and avant-garde style. From the moment you’ve arrived at the hotel dressed up to the nines with a Tom Collins in hand, BrandWorks honours the memory with geometric cues and glints of gold for a striking ode to the times. With striking patterns, elegance, and plenty of grandeur, this MAHO? moment captures the period when the curious come out to play.

Top notes: Gin, jumpier berries Mid notes: Lime, coriander Base notes: Water notes, sandalwood

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Reminiscent of a Spring garden and the smell of freshly cut grass, MAHO’s moment in time conjures the feeling of a lazy Sunday out in the garden with the fragrant florals in the air. Artist and illustrator, Nani Puspasari, beautifully prescribes her “Evergreen” floral statement in accordance with her whimsical and free-form style.

Dotted with rosemary and splashes of the pear tree and rose, Evergreen ignites nostalgic childhood memories, crisp weekend mornings, and balmy summer days. Reminiscent of backyard garden strolls, Evergreen guides you down a walkthrough fresh- cut grass and invigorating herbs waving through the breeze on an easy Sunday morning. Alive, vibrant, and full of earthy delight, Evergreen embodies nature, indoors.

Top notes: Grass, apples Mid notes: Rose, pear Base notes: Rosemary, magnolia

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Kawaii Kids

Saccharine and sugary pop-infused, Kawaii Kids, is an ode to the sweet smell of bakehouses in downtown Tokyo. Cute, colourful and the promise of innocence, artist Tim Stana overlays his comic expression of Kawaii youth on the GAIWAN, elevating the street vibe of Shibuya and Harajuku.

Celebrating the breaded, soft, and sweet, Kawaii Kids brings together the saccharine scent of childhood bakeries on a playful afternoon in the Tokyo streets. Lifting notes of freshly baked bread, sweet rice, milky bubble tea, mixed spices and tapioca bring comfort and cravings to this dreamlike midday delight.

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  • Design Agency: BrandWorks Studio
  • Brand & Strategy: Michael Tan
  • Creative Lead of Design: Miranty Annisareta
  • Studio Account Manager: Lan Lan
  • Artists-in-collaboration:: Nani Puspasari
  • Artists-in-collaboration:: Lukas Kasper
  • Artists-in-collaboration:: Tim Stana
  • Photographer:: Meagan Harding


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