Suspended Figure, Another Geography and Diesel Denim?

Diesel Denim Gallery Aoyama hangs up some art on its line of clothing.

poster for Ayako Maruta

Ayako Maruta "Suspended Figure"

at Diesel Denim Gallery Aoyama
in the Omotesando, Aoyama area
This event has ended - (2008-01-30 - 2008-08-17)

poster for Kimihiko Okada

Kimihiko Okada "Another Geography"

at Diesel Denim Gallery Aoyama
in the Omotesando, Aoyama area
This event has ended - (2008-02-16 - 2008-05-11)

In Reviews by Melaney Lee 2008-05-06

The Diesel Denim Gallery Tokyo has two levels. The first floor store features installations from local artists to renew the store’s look every six months and the second floor gallery showcases four works a year, also by local artists. Being from a business background, I find this a very innovative concept in line with the Diesel’s culture of creativity and unconventional thinking. Combining the artist’s work with the fashion collection puts the focus less on the functionality of the clothes and more on their status as art objects. Conversely, the use of the store as a platform to display the work of artists is mutually beneficial for both the store and the artist.

Ayako Maruta, 'Suspended Figure' (2008)

From what I had read about Ayako Maruta’s Suspended Figure, the main draw for me was that the artist has suspended lights and cables in such a way as to create arches — I was looking forward to witnessing something that defied the architectural convention of arches being built up from the ground. However my initial impression was one of confusion: the lightbulbs at the bottom of the installation’s ‘columns’ were obscured by the clothing displays, making it a little hard to get a sense of the structure’s grounding at first. Although the store as a whole had a striking contemporary Gothic feel to it, I nevertheless felt a little disappointed. The installation would have had more impact if there were a more spacing between it and the fashion collection. But then again, Diesel is first and foremost a clothing store.

Kimihiko Odaka, 'Another Geography' (2008)Kimihiko Odaka, 'Another Geography' (2008)

In the gallery upstairs, however, Kimihiko Odaka’s Another Geography was very impressive. It felt like entering a cave made of foil rather than rock. With the gallery littered with bundles of metal tumbleweed, each illuminated by a mixture of warm and cool colored light bulbs, this store had transformed itself into a space-age terrain. The play of light on the shiny surfaces everywhere was particularly striking: not only did the colored light from within the tumbleweed reflect off the foil hanging above, but there was also a variety of colored LED flashlights provided for visitors to shine as they pleased on the ceiling. It was this striking by day, so oh what a sight it must be in the evening.

Melaney Lee

Melaney Lee. Born in 1979 in Chicago. Graduated with a BA in East Asian Languages and Cultures and a BS in Management Information Systems from UIUC. Melaney moved to Tokyo in December 2006 for a two year international assignment for work. Growing up by Art Institute of Chicago allowed her to appreciate different styles from Renaissance to Post Modern art and to see famous works such as American Gothic and A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte up close and personal. Self-described as an observer of life, Melaney enjoys different forms of human expression that include music, arts, and the occasional book. » See other writings

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