Guest Contribution by Anna Foskolou
At one point or another, we’ve all been told that it’s rude to stare. It’s a fundamental rule of a good upbringing. But imagine wandering around the streets of Tokyo, this time of year, fully exposed to the relentless so-called “Christmas Spirit” and the cacophony of the overabundant stores that threaten to drown you in fake snow and glitter. Out of the blue, you miraculously land in an oasis of serenity, a safe haven amongst the utter chaos. The display is almost empty baring one and only installation. And you find yourself unable to do anything but stare, or gaze if you prefer –it’s just semantics–, because what lies before your eyes is the epitome of unadulterated beauty.
video © Satoshi Asakawa / Courtesy of Hermès Japon
There is a scarf suspended in front of a screen that shows a woman blowing gently creating the illusion that she actually causes the garment’s mesmerizing movement. Then you look up and realise that you have reached Maison Hermès Japan, and the significance of the strategically placed iconic garment, the Hermès Scarf, sinks in. The sight is simple yet absolutely captivating, and manages to showcase the design of the scarf to perfection without a hint of flamboyance.
After all, if Hermès can’t achieve perfection then who can? The mastermind behind this beauty of an installation is none other than the renowned Japanese designer, Tokujin Yoshioka, who describes the train of thought that led to this creation, “On designing a window-display of Maison Hermès, I intended to express people’s daily ‘movements’ with a suspicion of humour.
There are moments when I perceive a hidden presence of a person in the movements born naturally in daily life. I created a design where one can perceive someone behind the scarves as if life were being breathed into them. The window is designed with an image of woman projected on to a monitor. The scarf softly sways in the air in response to the woman’s blow.” We can only marvel at his ability to breathe meaning and life through the act of brilliant simplicity, and hope that he will continue to amaze us with such exquisite installations. Truth be told, we would love to see what he can come up with in regards to a certain, “beloved” Birkin bag!
The installation which is based on a window display the designer presented in 2004 can be seen until January 19, 2010.