We don’t often bang on about art here at Tokyo Telephone, and that’s probably due to the fact that neither of us are exactly experts in this field. However, we know what we like, and we do like Araki Shiro…
It was dark and rainy yesterday night, but Samuel and I popped down the road to see the opening night of this exhibition at Garter, part of the amazing Kita-Kore building in Koenji. I’m sure long-time readers know well just how much we love Kita-Kore, but for those not in the know it’s a wonderfully jumbled collection of creative people, vintage, re-made items and bits and bobs that could only turn up in such a unique building. It’s a pretty inspirational place, and we love poking our heads around the door now and again to have a chat and a browse. It’s a must-see for anyone with even a passing interest in Tokyo’s underground fashion scene, and you’re sure of a warm welcome too.
Garter’s exhibition space has been up and running for a while now, and it’s great to see the lines between fashion and art blurring more than ever, and of course Kita-Kore is the best place for this movement. On first entering we were confronted with a beautiful tree-stump suspended from the ceiling, with hundreds of optical fibres leading to and from it – jaw-dropping. We then moved upstairs and were ushered into the gallery space proper where Araki Shiro’s breath-taking costumes were on show. Again suspended from the ceiling, the shapes and forms of the items were complimented by more optical fibres, and the whole space felt rather other-worldly.
In his own words, Araki Shiro says:
“My idea is based on the complexity between architectural form and surreal sculpture and assemblage. I create objects by hand, resembling organic forms using inorganic material, such as carbon fibre and glass fibre. As a costume designer, my creations are not designed to fit the human body, however they are meant to be wearable, uncomfortable and awkward. I am interested in the relationship between the objects and the body. Its phenomenal form is called ‘Subconscious Form’.“
Personally, I love the idea of virtually unwearable clothes. I think we take things like comfort for granted in many ways, but simultaneously accept cripplingly painful high heels as de rigueur. It’s something I’ve been thinking about fairly recently, so I’m sure I’ll have more to say on this subject in the future. In the mean time, here’s my photos and a couple of short videos (thanks, Samuel!) of the installation:
Araki Shiro’s exhibition runs until the end of March – catch it while you can!