After strolling through these intertwining alleys in Sheung Wan area, we arrived at GOLDYARD, a local shop specializing in fashion and accessories, to participate their pop-up event in collaboration with the Japanese wool knits brand neulo. Upon arrival, our attention was instantly caught by the massive tapestry hanging behind the display window. To welcome the event, the shop owner even cleared up the display shelves to make room for the exquisite wool knits created by Misako Kumagai. The items were unevenly yet sleekly positioned to fill up a whole wall of the shop.
Married to the acclaimed stylist/photographer Takashi Kumagai, Misako Kumagai’s artistic style is rather different to her husband’s. Not only did she found and run the brand neulo as her solo project, Misako is also solely responsible for every step of her entirely hand-knitted or hand-woven items from material sourcing to styling. One of the signature items of neulo is the tapestry woven with yarn of diverse colors and thicknesses, which give rise to a vibrant color and a rich texture. We had the pleasure to talk to Misako Kumagai while she was in Hong Kong.
When traveling, I would look for interesting shops using my mobile. Sometimes I do my research before setting off for my trip. Places that interest me are mostly antique shops. I usually travel once or twice per year; I sometimes just tag along with my husband when he travels for work.
You seem to be well-traveled. Which country or place do you like the best?
The United States! I’m particularly into New Mexico in the States, where I can have my treasure hunting in some older communities.
I usually work at night. During the day, I am often busy with house chores, cleaning and cooking, for instance. Working from home, I can focus on making new items for my brand only when my husband is asleep.
Are there any specific items that you need when working?
I use room fragrance while working, as my creativity can always be sparkled by aroma. My preference is the natural scents.
Our first email conversation actually began a year ago. After a few communications, we had decided to hold the event in 2018.
Is there a dedicated theme for the pop-up event?
My hometown is in Hayama, Kanagawa Prefecture. It is a serene mountainous town by the sea; the town is where you can feel being embraced by nature. The pop-up event is themed around the vibe of the natural landscape in Kanagawa Prefecture. GOLD YARD also proposed to focus on white, gray and white as the event’s theme color. I have also incorporated their suggestions into the event.
One last question. Which is your favorite work of the current exhibition and why?
I like this the best (image below). It looks like a sheep, and it is the most popular work.
9 Mee Lun Street, Central, Hong Kong