January 2012 (10)

132 5. ISSEY MIYAKE is nominated for Designs of the Year Awards.

132 5. ISSEY MIYAKE, clothing created by Issey Miyake + Reality Lab Project Team exhibited in "REALITY LAB" exhibition in 2010, is nominated for the Design Museum's fifth annual Designs of the Year Awards.
The Design Museum's Design Awards, 'the Oscars of the design world', is a showcase of the most innovative and progressive designs from around the world. All of the nominations will be on show at the exhibition in the Design Museum from 8 February to 15 July. The winners will be announced on 24 April.
Exhibition: http://designmuseum.org/exhibitions/2012/designs-of-the-year-2012

Exhibition View
Exhibition "REALITY LAB"

"Irving Penn and Me" vol. 14 Jean-Luc Monterosso

In celebrating the "Irving Penn and Issey Miyake: Visual Dialogue" exhibition starting September 16, leading creators from all walks of art speak to us of their fascination with Irving Penn photos.

Gentleman with politeness and elegance in the photography art

──How did you encounter Irving Penn?

Jean-Luc Monterosso (from hereon, Monterosso):
Thanks to Peter MacGill, I met Irving Penn 20 years ago. I was very impressed with his works. For me, Penn is one of the greatest photographers in the 20th Century. He received me in his studio, which should be described as laboratory because all was impeccable and neat there. His gaze, luminous and intense, first was very impressive. After one hour of interview, his extreme politeness and elegance totally captivated me. For me, Penn is par excellence the gentleman of photography. Immediately we became friends.

──What do you think about his photos?

His photographs are in his image; perfect, balanced and obvious. I insisted on giving his name to one of the rooms of Maison Européenne de la Photographie because his work always appeared me to be a school of rigor and beauty.
Contrary to what one might think, Penn doesn't manufacture any image. He reveals it.

──Do you have any specific episode of Penn or his photography to share with us?

It was an intimate moment. In his totally white studio, some weeks after wife Lisa Fonssagrives died, he fell in my arms, murmuring "It is I that should have passed away, not she."
Given that nobody is as modest and reserved person as him, showing tears was a moment full of emotion.

──Please tell us about your recent work (exhibition, publication, new project etc.)

Now, photography is going through a revolution. As museum director, my initiatives consist in trying to account for the shift from silver halide photography to digital photography as pertinently as possible.



Director of the Maison Européenne de la Photographie
Jean-Luc Monterosso, who received an advanced degree in philosophy, is the founder and director of the Maison Européenne de la Photographie, which was inaugurated in 1996. He created the first Mois de la Photo à Paris (Paris Photography Month) in 1980, and the Mois européen de la Photographie (European Photography Month) in 2004. He is a frequent contributor to catalogues and other publications, and has curated numerous exhibitions, both in France and abroad.

List view of "Irving Penn and Me"

"Irving Penn and Me" vol. 13 Tenmei Kanoh

In celebrating the "Irving Penn and Issey Miyake: Visual Dialogue" exhibition starting September 16, leading creators from all walks of art speak to us of their fascination with Irving Penn photos.

Penn's Photographic Skills and Spiritual Eye Seen in Still Photos

──When did you first encounter Irving Penn photos?

Tenmei Kanoh (from hereon, Kanoh):
It was during high school so when I was 17 or 18. My father back in Nagoya was a graphic designer. So naturally, there were many western magazines in my home. I saw pictures by people like Irving Penn and Hiro in those magazines but even among them, Penn's still life photos were exceptional. It transcended Japanese aesthetics, or should I say the Japanese sense and even though it was completely foreign, it wasn't American...it was something completely different.

His still life was especially great. When taking still lifes, you settle your emotions and enter into a conversation with your motif. When Cezanne painted still life, he used a method which portrayed the objects from a different angle than was actually seen. Penn's photos are like western paintings too, but in some ways, they go beyond that. He looks and sees beyond, or should I say he sees through his objects. He has this visionary power to embrace his objects and make it a part of his self. I was spellbound by that.

Penn's photos capture the essence of things but at the same time; destroys this essence to turn it into his own world. This "power of destruction", if you could call it that..., his strength, his confidence, and his capability of portrayal was out of the ordinary. That is why it was neither Japanese nor American; it created a world unlike any other. Penn also took many advertising photography but even then, he maintained the Penn world while keeping his aesthetic space completely intact. I think that this photographic techniques and spiritual eye have influenced photographers all over the world.

──Please give us your thoughts after seeing the exhibition.

Kanoh: First of all, I was impressed with Miyake-san's instinct to request Penn to take the photos. And I understood well that it was thanks to Ms. Kitamura always working between the two and maintaining their distance that they were able to take such great photos for 13 years. I was impressed by both men. Penn's photos are spectacular but when seen on a large screen, Miyake-san's rare talent is well-highlighted too. It was a completely new genre that transcends fashion. It was simply amazing.

──Please tell us about your recent work.

Kanoh: "SCANDAL extra Takashi Kijima Tenmei Kanoh" was a joint exhibition with my mentor, Takashi Kijima, who passed away this past February. The exhibition featured Kijima-san's nude photos along with reprints of my "FUCK" debut series. "FUCK" is a collection of different sex patterns captured at parties in New York and this is the series that suddenly brought me to fame the day after it was announced.

Another is the "Katame no Zarathustra" exhibition held in Nagoya. This exhibition featured works that uses a new way of expression mixing photography and painting. Photos are printed on what's called a canvas print and I added artwork to these photos. All proceeds from this exhibition will be donated to the Great East Japan Earthquake relief effort. The exhibition will also be held in Tokyo and Osaka.

(interviewer: Keiko Kamijo)

Tenmei Kanoh

Tenmei Kanoh

Born February 1942 - currently lives in Japan. One of the most influential photographer in Japan since 1960's. Also a writer, DJ, Actor, and various other art performances.
Japan Advertising Artists Club Award, Asahi Advertising Award, Mainichi Advertising Award, Annual Calendar Award, Poland Poster Award, etc.
official HP tenmeikanoh.com

Katame no Zarathustra
From exhibition "Katame no Zarathustra"

List view of "Irving Penn and Me"

"Irving Penn and Me" vol. 12 Katsumi Asaba

In celebrating the "Irving Penn and Issey Miyake: Visual Dialogue" exhibition starting September 16, leading creators from all walks of art speak to us of their fascination with Irving Penn photos.

The most important trait to man is his outstanding "power of observation"

──When did you first encounter Penn's photos?

Katsumi Asaba (from hereon, Asaba):
I think it was around my senior year of high school. There is an American Culture Center in Yokohama and in that library were many magazines like VOGUE, Harper's Bazaar, and Esquire. I used to go there to look at the photos by Avedon and Penn. I can't think of any other photographer that sketches so well. I only know of two. Irving Penn and Taiji Arita. Arita was a photographer turned painter in later years. I think Penn did everything himself from art direction to shooting.

──Is there anything you learned from Penn's photos?

Asaba: His contact with different cultures. He traveled the world on his own feet; he saw what was essential, and caught on photo the wisdom and splendors that each ethnic group had created throughout their history. He captured the humanity burrowed deep inside people. It's amazing. The power of observation is man's most important trait and he was an outstanding one at that.

Lately, I often say that the 4 most important things for a person of expression are to "look with purpose", "think with purpose", "breathe with purpose", and to "work with purpose" and I think Penn did all of these. I can imagine Penn looking with purpose at Issey-san's clothes upon their arrival, thinking with purpose on what kind of photo he will take, breathing with purpose at times as he drew out his ideas on sketch, and working with ever such purpose on the photo sessions.

With sketches, ideas start pouring out naturally as you draw. For me too, when I wake up in the morning, I sit at my calligraphy table, brush in hand, and draw spirals spinning to the right and left. I believe daily trainings like this will show someday in my art. I think Penn also trained well; like a monk in training.

──I imagine you're always busy but please tell us about your recent work.

Asaba: Lately, I've been working on the "NEW Tsunami Ishi (Tsunami Rock.)" The first Tunami Ishi was erected on Nehama Beach of Kamaishi, Iwate in memory of all those who lost their lives and also as a monument that will continue reminding to future generations, the terror of the Great East Japan Earthquake tsunami. The letters, "3.11, 2011" were turned into design and engraved on the rock. This project has called out to other designers and the goal is to erect 500 stone monuments across 500km of the coastline along Iwate, Miyagi, and Fukushima prefectures which was struck by the tsunami.

(interviewer: Keiko Kamijo)

Katsumi Asaba

Katsumi Asaba

Art Director
Born in 1940 in the Kanagawa Prefecture. Founded the Katsumi Asaba Design Studio in 1975, after studying at the KUWASAWA DESIGN SCHOOL and working at Light Publicity Co., Ltd. He has designed advertisements for Suntory, The Seibu Department Stores Ltd., Misawa Homes Co., Ltd., and many others. He is the chairman of the TOKYO TYPE DIRECTORS CLUB, when he is not busy exploring the relationships between written and visual expression; and has a particular interest in the rich cultural heritage of writing in Asia. He has been awarded the Tokyo Art Directors Club Grand Prix, the Shiju Award, among others. In addition to chairing TDC, he is a member of the board of JAGDA (Japan Graphic Designers Association Inc.), chairman of the Design Association, organizer for Enjin01 Cultural Strategy Council; a committee member of the ADC (Tokyo Art Directors Club) , and a member of the Alliance Graphique Internationale. Asaba is also a Visiting Professor at the Tokyo Zokei University and at the Kyoto Seika University, The president of KANAZAWA DESIGN SCHOOL. His principal area of expertise lies in the pictographic Dongba script used in rituals by the Naxi tribe in China. He also holds the title of sixth degree master in table tennis (Japan Table Tennis Association).

NEW Tsunami Ishi (Tsunami Rock.)
NEW Tsunami Ishi (Tsunami Rock)

List view of "Irving Penn and Me"

Article on Art & Culture Magazine

Exhibition "Irving Penn and Issey Miyake: Visual Dialogue" is covered by Korean magazine "Art & Culture Magazine."

Art & Culture Magazine
Art & Culture Magazine

"Irving Penn and Me" vol. 11 Yuriko Takagi

In celebrating the "Irving Penn and Issey Miyake: Visual Dialogue" exhibition starting September 16, leading creators from all walks of art speak to us of their fascination with Irving Penn photos.

Penn's photos are the exact opposite of me...which makes them all the more attractive

──You photograph PLEATS PLEASE ISSEY MIYAKE clothing in your photo collection but your style is completely different from that of Irving Penn.

Yuriko Takagi (from hereon, "Takagi"):
I've never told this to a single soul until now but I was so conscious of his photos back then! (Laugh) Call me arrogant but I had such a strong image that Issey-san's clothes=Penn's photos that I had this secret desire, that if I were to take photos of his clothes, I would take them in a way that Penn would never think of doing.

Penn's photos possess an overwhelming style and high-strung tension. I've never visited his studio but I imagine a tightened atmosphere so quiet that you can hear a pin drop. Meanwhile, I like to capture the naked expression and vibes of my models. But even so, all of my photos are actually staged and I make an effort of capturing the natural movement of the person and clothing born from within that setting.

After seeing Penn's photos again at this exhibition, I was impressed by the meticulously calculated fusion of weight and lightness. They are completely different from the current trends in photography and clothing. Today, everyone likes things light. Nobody uses the word, "tense" and they avoid what is heavy. However, I believe that Penn's powerful photos possess a brilliant extraordinariness that carry on new messages to the young people of today.

──Penn and Miyake-san's collaboration was born without conversation; only by looking at each other's works. They never once gave orders to each other. How was it for you?

Takagi: On the first India trip, I asked Issey-san to lend me his PLEATS. He asked me, "What are you going to do?" So I replied, "I want to have local people I meet overseas wear PLEATS PLEASE and take photos of them." And he said, "That sounds like a good idea" and he lent me 60 pieces. When I put on a slide show for him at the company upon return, he was very impressed. From there on, I took an entire series in Kenya, China, and Morocco. As can be said through Penn's photos, Issey-san is a truly amazing person in that he trusts you to take the photos that you truly desire and accept you based purely on what you have taken.

──Please tell us about your recent work.

Takagi: I've recently been working on a series titled, "THREADS OF BEAUTY." Until now, I've brought clothing from Japan for the people of the world to wear but I soon realized the importance and beauty of the traditional clothes these people wear in their daily lives. From nomads of Iran to India, and China, I have traveled through about 12 countries, shooting with focus on the everyday clothes worn by the people of each country.

(interviewer: Keiko Kamijo)

Yuriko Takagi

Yuriko Takagi

PUBLICATION: Nus intimes (Yobisha), Confused gravitation (Bijutsushuppansha), Skin Yuruiko Takagi x Kozue Hibino (Fusosha), In and Out of Mode (Gap Japan)


List view of "Irving Penn and Me"

[Movie] Talk "Working with Irving Penn"

Article on tl.mag

Exhibition "Irving Penn and Issey Miyake: Visual Dialogue" is covered by Belgian magazine "tl.mag".



Exhibition "Irving Penn and Issey Miyake: Visual Dialogue" is covered by Italian magazine "CORRIERE DELLA SERA STYLE MAGAZINE".
The article is written by Paola Antonelli, the senior curator at the Museum of Modern Art.


Article on Domus

Exhibition "Irving Penn and Issey Miyake: Visual Dialogue" is covered on Italian website "Domus."

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