LIMINAL AIR SPACE-TIME BY SHINJI OHMAKI
Louis Vuitton Menswear Fall 2016
Published on 22 January 2016
Creative director of the menswear of Louis Vuitton, Kim Jones has prepared a little surprise for the guests of the show - the installation by Japanese artist Shinji Omaki. A new installation that uses cloth to make observers aware of time and space. As the cloth moves up and down, swaying the bounds between realms, those watching may feel its movements defy gravity. Jarring perceptions thus creates a time-space distinct from that of everyday life, a physical sensory shift that contradicts expectations to break down existing values toward creating new values.
The cloud, an extraordinary and unlikely froth of stainless steel, is the creation of Japanese artist Ohmaki Shinji. Jones originally encountered his work at the MORI Art Museum in Tokyo. It was sunset, which is clearly the right time of day to appreciate the way the artist captures light and air in his nebulous creations. “I was already thinking about the grand scheme of the collection, about the love that Paris has for modernism,” says Jones. “I wanted to do something light and simple. And I knew a lot of other designers were aware of Ohmaki Shinju, so I knew I had to use him first.” The deciding factor was a night Jones spent back in London at a dance performance by his friend Michael Clark. The electronic soundtrack, by Bruce Gilbert of the art/punk band Wire, was the clincher for him. That will the music on which Shinji-san’s cloud will rise and fall.
A full appreciation of the artist’s work clearly called for a shift from Vuitton’s usual 2.30pm time-slot, impinging on the delicate chemistry of the Chambre Syndicale’s fashion calendar. That required some diplomatic negotiations with Dries van Noten, the fashion house most likely to be affected by Vuitton’s move. “I didn’t want to look like one of those bullying big houses,” Jones insists. “So we worked to resolve model issues as quickly as possible, to be as helpful as possible to each other. But it was so important to get the light — and the space — right.”
“I wanted to acknowledge how inspiring young Paris has become. At the same time, I feel privileged to be able to do what I want to do and to make it as beautiful as I can.”