The photographs in this article are from an installation by artist Fumio Tachibana. The photographer is Yasuhide Kuge. This exhibition was the first time I had consciously experienced the artist, his inspiration, materials, work, and working space as inseparable. Tachibana is someone who has mastered the art of evocation. The re-purposing and re-imagining of “fragments” woven or arranged into a new whole is a important concept in my own work.
His subject is Clara, a fashion institute for western style dressmaking in Japan, founded and run by Motoko and Shiro Koike in 1923. They also published a fashion magazine called Yosai Shunju. The building was demolished and the magazine banned during World War 2 in 1944. I’ll take a wild guess that anything to do with western culture was not at all popular in Japan during that time. Motoko revived the institute as a classroom studio in the 1950s. When the studio was dismantled, Fumio Tachibana collected and reorganized the fragments of Motoko’s work and materials (drawings, sketches, dressmaking patterns, postwar Japanese handbills, wrapping paper, silk thread, and printing equipment) into a large scale installation of new artworks and arrangements in their own space so that the classroom itself was part of the work. There is something powerful going on here in that Motoko’s presence is strongly felt in the photographs.
Source: Communion W, 2001 Curator: Can Wong