rei kawakubo on_fashion exhibitions


In an interview with curator Hans Ulrich Obrist, Comme des Garçons founder Rei Kawakubo (with her husband and company CEO Adrian Joffe as interpreter) gives her thoughts on fashion exhibitions. 

HUO …you’re unable to divorce your roles as a designer from that of a business woman. Fashion only occurs in the actual wearing of a garment. What, if anything, do institutional exhibitions of your work mean when both imperatives of dressing and selling are gone? In an exhibition, there isn’t selling or dressing – so that leads us to the question that we are obviously very interested in in the art world: what is the role of the exhibition for you?

RK She says she never does it because she wants to, but it’s people who ask her to do it.

HUO That’s a good, interesting answer. These exhibitions are not really your thing?

RK She likes the idea of a three-dimensional exhibition: something that moves, explains and expresses the work. She would very much like to do a 3-D exhibition where the creations, the fashion, is moving.


In the Words of…Rei Kawakubo: Rei Kawakubo interviewed by Hans Ulrich Obrist.

© System, Issue 2, Autumn-Winter 2013.



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