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A Star in the Universe

Harmonic Meditation by Cosmic Wonder

Words / Elva Pang
Translation / Iris Heung

水甕響徹天際的季節
次元美妙上昇的大地
恰如自我及真我一般
天地也由光相連並閃閃發亮
天使們微笑著,精靈們歡欣著
猶如滿天星斗般眩目閃爍
為的是使萬物和諧融洽
一股溫暖湧現於上
來自過去微微晃動不定的懷舊記憶
由宇宙中顯現而出的嶄新之物
藉著光在這之間的一舉一動
欣賞其中藝術及服裝的展

—— COSMIC WONDER「Harmonic Mediation」

The season when the water jug echoes the heavens 
Beautiful dimensions ascend from the earth
Like myself and my true self
The sky and soil touch with light
Smiling angels and spirits rejoicing
Flickering all around like radiant stars
To bring all of life into harmony
Warmth rises up
Remembrances emerge from the past
New things made visible by the cosmos
According to the play of light
Take pleasure in the sight of art and clothing

—— COSMIC WONDER「Harmonic Mediation」

午後陽光正好把玻璃上的字反映在安田都乃的土器上,灰白的壺頓時變得耀眼起來。「土器在散發出很高的音調」陶藝家安田都乃說,「它在演奏悅耳的音調,如光般閃爍,像美麗的歌在宇宙裡迴盪。」土器靜靜地伴在COSMIC WONDER的衣服旁邊,一切都顯得很安靜和諧。「我想像這些工藝品在冥想的時候包圍著我,讓我感到安心;這裡的服裝也適合在冥想時候穿著。」COSMIC WONDER的創立人前田征紀說,「四年前我搬到京都美山町的村落裡,為的是更能親近大自然,在山中進行冥想。居住在山與山之間的古老茅屋裡,每天耕作、冥想和創作,是我十分享受的傳統生活方式。」靈性的東西或是關於宇宙的都是前田先生的靈感來源,「生活在山中,大自然給予我力量,這對我來說十分重要。」

Under the afternoon sun, the words on the shop window cast a nice shadow and land flatly on the ceramic works by Yasuda Miyakono. The greyish pottery pot instantly glowed to life. “Ceramics can release a very high pitch”, said the Earthenware artist  Yasuda Miyakono, “The material can play a pleasant tune that sparkles, like a beautiful melody that resonates in the universe.” The ceramic piece sat quietly next to the clothes by the brand Cosmic Wonder. Everything appeared to be wrapped in tranquility. “I imagine having all these crafts surrounding me in a meditative state. Such thought is very comforting. In fact, all these clothes you see around here are the suitable outfit for meditation.” said the founder of Cosmic Wonder Yukinori Maeda. “Four years ago, I decided to move to a village in Miyamachokita Kyoto in order to get closer to nature. I meditate in the mountains and live in an old cottage house in the woods. Every day I farm, meditate and create crafts. This is the traditional lifestyle that I enjoy the most.” Anything spiritual and cosmic is the source of his inspiration. “The mountains fuel me with so much energy from nature. This is very crucial to me.”

冥想讓前田先生感受到與自己內心的連結,也深深地影響著他的創作。這種想法反映在秋冬系列之中,以「Harmonic Meditation」為主題,創作出質樸柔美的服裝。小小的茅屋和一處工廠舊址作為創作的空間,採用有機棉、麻和絹等天然素材,配合天然的染料,例如草木染、墨染、蟲膠染料製成的玫瑰色和蟲膠染料結合梔子藍色素染出的紫焰色。天然的染色為布料添上獨一無二的大自然色調,鮮活靈光且靜謐美妙,彷彿穿起來就能把身體也一併融入大自然裡。「系列中我最喜歡兩肩皺褶的鬆身長袍配上布腰帶的設計,好像神話中的希臘女神。另一喜歡的作品是以韓國傳統布料為靈感,混合麻和絲的布塊。由人手織造及墨染,重疊的布料及車線造成幾何圖案,色調隨著光影而變化,讓色彩更具層次。」COSMIC WONDER每一件衣服的背面都有圓形的車線,象徵著將宇宙的音色賦予空間和人類。

Meditation has helped Maeda to connect with his inner-self, and, in turn, cast a profound influence on his creative process. Such influence can well be reflected by the fall/winter collection aptly themed “Harmonic Meditation” that features apparel which is equally rustic and gentle. Using his little cottage as well as an old factory as his studio, he adopted organic cotton, hemp fabric, and silk to combine with natural dyes. He used veggie, ink, and insects as the base to create the rose-red dye, and insects shellac and blue pigments from cape jasmine to create the lilac dye. The natural dye brings a unique vibe to the fabric to make it gracefully glow in lively colors. Wearing these fabrics would make you feel integrated with nature. “In the series, I am particularly fond of the loose robe with folded sleeves and belt. That just looks like the outfit a Greek goddess would wear. Another favorite piece of mine is inspired by the traditional Korean fabric mixed with other fabrics made of hemp and silk. The weaving and dyeing were done by hands. The overlapping fabrics and stitches create different geometric patterns. The colors change with the light and shadows, creating different layers of visual appearance. “ Every piece of clothing produced by Cosmic Wonder features a circular line of stitches at the back, as a symbol to bring cosmic sound into our living space.

現正在SHOP Taka Ishii Gallery舉行的「Harmonic Meditation – 藝術與工藝」,由前田征紀策展,首次在香港的展出完整的服裝系列。前田先生更找來不同範疇的藝術家的作品,使展覽更全面地展示主題的理念和日本的工藝。「在構思展覽時,我很想找一件形狀像天使般的木塊,但要在大自然中尋找相當的困難。當我遇到雕塑藝術家田代裕基後,我發現他的木工作品就是我心中想要的。」「Angel」一字的起源來自希臘,「Angelus」則有信息的意思,田代裕基以此作為作品名是因為他在創作時想到樹木在靜止與搖晃之間,飄浮於宇宙某處的影像,並和天使的影像重疊,在內心產生迴響。木頭裡藏著泥土的滋養、陽光和空氣,是宇宙的奇妙的創造,這就是大自然透過木頭給予我們的信息。「展覽裡每一件藝術品背後都有一個我與它們相遇的故事。我希望把日本的藝術與工藝透過展覽讓更多人認識。」前田先生說。

在藝廊裡看到前田先生和眾人討論著使用和紙包著的檯面,可見他注重每一個細節,希望創造更和諧舒適的氣氛。「現在的我正熱衷於空間的設計。我從來不為自己定下一些規限,所以對未來沒有很清晰的規劃,隨心的創作、耕作的生活比較適合我。」冥想成為習慣後,身體和五官會變得敏感,連走路、呼吸都保持著覺醒,能讓你在烏雲密佈的夜空之中找到時亮時暗的星星。「COSMIC WONDER對我來說像一顆星。」在宇宙裡一顆閃爍的星,引領著前田先生一直的創作下去。

Currently exhibiting in SHOP Taka Ishii Gallery is the Harmonic Meditation – Art and Crafts exhibition curated by Yukinori Maeda. This is the first-ever showcase of the complete collection of Maeda. Maeda even collaborated with artists from various fields to pick art pieces that can help to express the fundamental concept and the idea of Japanese crafts fully. “When we were conceptualizing the exhibition, we wanted to get hold of a piece of wood that shapes like an angel. Surely it is pretty hard to find such a piece of wood in nature. Getting to know the sculpture artist Hiroki Tashiro, I realize his carpentry work is exactly what I’d been looking for.” The word “angel” originates from the Greek word “angelus” which means messenger. Hiroki Tashiro came up with the idea of naming his work Angelus as he was pondering over the state of trees that were neither static nor swinging. There must be some images in the universe that can perfectly resonate with that of the angels. What the piece of wood has stored is all the nurturing from the soil, sunlight, and air. Such creation is mystically beautiful and this is exactly the information our nature has tried to convey to us through a piece of wood. “Behind every piece of artwork, you see here is a story of how we encounter. I wish to let more people understand the beauty of Japanese art and crafts,” said Maeda.

In the gallery, Maeda was discussing with others about how the tabletop was wrapped by traditional Japanese paper. His dedication to details, as well as his yearning to create harmony for everyone, can be easily seen from his interaction with people. “Lately, I’ve been quite obsessed with space design. I never set rules and boundaries for myself, so I don’t really have a clear plan for my future. I just follow my heart to make crafts and keep on farming. Guess such a lifestyle suits me best.” When meditation becomes a habit, your body and senses become more sensitive. You will also get more conscious of everything as you walk and breathe. Such sobriety would allow you to spot the grimly sparkling stars even the sky is muddy and dark. “Cosmic Wonder is just like a star to me.” Perhaps this is a brightly shining star in the universe that guides Maeda on his creative journey.

“Harmonic Mediation – Arts and Crafts”
Curated by COSMIC WONDER/ Yukinori Maeda

Date: Sep 21- Nov 10, 2019
Location: SHOP Taka Ishii Gallery, Hong Kong