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
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.”
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。
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