Nine years ago the now-defunct website Mekas posted a fascinating interview with the brilliant Japanese fashion critic Takeji Hirakawa, in which he held forth on the state of fashion, Japanese youth culture, Undercover, Number (N)ine, and Comme des Garcons, among other topics.
Fashion is supposed to be fast, but it can be surprisingly late to many things, like e-commerce.
Kei Shigenaga decided to become a jewelry maker because he saw it as an intersection of fashion and sculpture, two things he’s been interested in for a long time. “I feel that jewelry is not simply something fashionable, but it can be an art object you can have with you every day,” says the Japanese silversmith, who makes everything by hand in his Tokyo studio. He often goes back to traditional Japanese culture for inspiration, trying to make it modern in his own way. Lately he’s been interested in “kintsugi,” a traditional form of art where broken ceramics are mended back together using lacquer covered with gold dust, only Shigenaga uses melted gold instead. In a way, the combination of destruction and creation is the crux of his work.” In my work I try to concentrate on the roughness of precious metals,” says he. He is interested in tension between the image of fine jewelry as something delicate, yet tough.
Undercover / TAKAHIROMIYASHITATheSoloist. will be live streaming their Fall/Winter 2018 shows at Pitti Uomo on Thursday, January 11 at 7:30pm CET (1:30pm EST).
In art, the tension between artistic expression and commercial work is nothing new. Every artist dreams of being unfettered by commercial constraints; some good ones get to pour their creativity into commercial work; for the lucky few it can even pave a path to art (James Rosenquist is one famous example). The Japanese cnematographer Kensaku Kakimoto has found commercial success early on in his career. At only 34, he has already created a slew of videos for some of the biggest Japanese and international brands like Toyota and Coca-Cola. He has also produced three feature films in Japan.
If there was one leitmotif in the work of the Japanese photographer Masahisa Fukase, it’s solitude, or more precisely, loneliness.