at SFT Gallery
in the Roppongi, Nogizaka area
This event has ended - (2007-10-17 - 2007-12-24)
Houses are body wrappings; housing for the body. When you come home exhausted after work and flop down on a favorite armchair or tunnel under your down quilt on a freezing night, you feel comforted by a familiar space that is yours alone. You feel comforted after having been jostled around during rush hour on the train. Home is a place, a concept, a space, and more besides.
Yoshikazu Yamagata and Mafuyu have nudged this notion a little further along and created a series of home-themed clothing and jewelry that travel with you even when you’re not at home. At first, it seems like the artists are interested in shrinking the parameters of ‘home’ to a mobile ready-to-wear edition, house-shaped knitwear that becomes a kind of extra security blanket when you can’t make it back to your real home to snuggle under the covers. Instead, what this is really about is expanding that metaphor beyond your private space so that you can feel at ‘home’ just about anywhere in ‘my town’, taking your housing with you like a vagabond crab wherever you choose to wander in the city. Given how much time Tokyo’s inhabitants spend at temporary stations, at work and play (and commuting in between), the point needs to be made more sharply than usual.
The exhibition consists of several colorful knitted ‘dresses’ and oversized sweaters with fat sleeves that fall off the shoulders like a shawl. Arms poke through the ‘windows’, and the heads out of the ‘chimneys’. Naturally, you wouldn’t actually wear these garments: with their droopy sleeves and being riddled with holes that in the cold, they are essentially conceptual pieces, a sort of installation-fashion. Interior design and home furnishings tend to be private paddings for individual dwellings. With fashion it’s often the opposite: made to be paraded about in public, tailored to the occasion and the weather. In this exhibition the two have made peace and combined function and decoration, interior furnishing and outdoor gear, so that you can go pound the pavement on your urban hike, navigating ‘my town’ without straying far from ‘my home’ – or at least a reminder of its comforts.