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Yohji Yamamoto: May I help You?

Inez & Vinoodh » Nick Knight » Peter Lindbergh » Craig Mc Dean » Sarah Moon » Paolo Roversi » David Sims » Max Vadukul »

Exhibition: 26 Apr – 21 Jul 2003

Hara Museum of Contemporary Art

4-7-25 Kitashinagawa, Shinagawa-ku
140-0001 Tokyo



Since his 1981 debut at the Paris Collection, internationally acclaimed fashion designer Yohji Yamamoto has been creating clothing designs that never fail to attract both praise and criticism. Yamamoto continues to be a rebel. Last year, the year marking the thirtieth anniversary of the Y's company, Yamamoto created a stir in the fashion world by presenting the Yohji Yamamoto collection during the haute couture season¡°Ëand then presenting the Y's show during the pret-a-porter season, effectively voiding the difference between haute couture and pret-a-porter. Yohji Yamamoto: May I help you? provides a chance to look back on Yamamoto's work through the works of eight photographers, all of whom have produced "visual" photographs for the Yohji Yamamoto catalogue and other materials related to the designer from 1984 to the present. The monochromatic photographs from Max Vadukul, who was active from the beginning, show out-of-the-ordinary images with Manhattan as a backdrop, while the photos of Paolo Roversi depict androgynous people with canes in both hands. These are two examples of the unique style and individual creativity of each photographer. Free from the influence of Yamamoto's style, the photographs that they create are, so to speak, free "visual" interpretations of the designer and his work. "Fashion is only complete when it is worn by ordinary people who exist now, managing their lives, loving and grieving." (quoted from Yohji Yamamoto, Talking to myself) Yamamoto possesses both a spirit of rebellion and great magnanimity. In the same way that his clothes are completed through the personal arrangement of each individual, this exhibition will be finally completed when it is viewed by each individual through the interpretations of Yohji Yamamoto provided by photographers.