The designers who work out of the Kitakore building may have taken over a shop in Parco (report here), but there is still plenty going on in the building itself thanks to the illustrious headwear designer Tomihiro Kono and film maker Sayaka taking over the Garter and gallery space until the end of the month.  Together they form a project called the Neon O’Clock Works which has had a brilliant output of exhibitions, photographs / fashion editorials, films, sculptures and books since they started working out of London in 2007.  Their mixed-media projects and wearable art have caught the imagination of a good number of fashion magazines around the world keen for a taste of the Tokyo Avant-Garde aesthetic and have previously exhibited in Fake Tokyo prior to finding this audience at the Kitakore building.

Their exhibition completely changes the atmosphere of the entrance to the building, because although the repertoire of remade items, studs and all-round creative aggression fits comfortably with the usual output that you might see Garter, Dog or ilil produce, their aged colours, disconcerting sculptures and uncomfortably beautiful aesthetic gave the usually vibrant Kitakore building a touch of the dour.

On the ground floor was a photography exhibit by Sayaka featuring some of the head props as well as the actual items themselves:

Upstairs in the Garter gallery was a series of short films by the pair as well as a series of cabinets.  Each was packed with similar themes to the head pieces themselves, but embraced the chance to play with lighting, perspective and each and every one felt like a little world that you could get lost in.  From the flickering lights, to gently swaying chains, heavy use of lenses and hidden details so you had to move around to see every detail, there is really nothing I can do except to highlight a tiny aspect of each.  Simply put, if you are in the Tokyo area, you owe it to yourself to see them before the exhibition ends.

The cabinets sinking into the dark.

All accompanied by the great short films (and a bonus picture of yours truly on the right).

As I have said before, this runs till the 29th and there are a good number of very affordable books, DVDs and so on of the artists work on limited release to accompany the exhibition.

As if you needed any further persuasion, I thought we would also showcase some other recent developments in the building:

King has started her range of accessories, which have a really neat futuristic vibe and brings something new to the building as a whole.

These ones in particular are really something to behold.

And a very rare item from Leo Candycane himself that caught my eye on a shelf next to Giza’s necklaces that are also now on sale.

Well there you have it, a good number of reasons to make your way over to Koenji this month and don’t miss out on the Parco shop either.

For further reading Tomihiro Kono has a great site here, as does Sayaka here.  If that is not enough then there is a Tumblr here and you can see some of Neon O’clocks videos on YouTube.  Don’t say I don’t spoil you.

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2 Responses to Tomihiro Kono Exhibitions at Garter – Kitakore Building

  1. Andrew says:

    I first saw Tomihiro Kono on Fake Tokyo’s website a few months ago and thought his headgear stuff was just awesome. Kind of like when I saw Masaya Kushino’s shoes on here a few posts ago, I just didn’t know you could make headgear so cool! Really wish I could go see the whole exhibit, but you’ve certainly made sure that the next time I’m in Tokyo I’ll be heading to Kitakore!

  2. Samuel says:

    @ Andrew

    Totally agree with you there. I love it when you discover someone who works in a fairly niche genre who manages to bring something entirely fresh and exciting to that subject.

    Glad to be an ambassador for the Kitakore building, and don’t worry, even if it is not this exhibition, there will always be something cool going on in there whenever you go.


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