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Yohji Yamamoto at Design Museum Holon
04 July 2012 -  20 October 2012
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In an Israeli first, Design Museum Holon is proud to announce an exhibition by legendary designer Yohji Yamamoto.

Maestro of avant-garde fashion, Yohji Yamamoto remains one of the world's most influential and enigmatic designers and over the last forty years has made a vital contribution to fashion, challenging traditional norms of clothing with his style. The display at Design Museum Holon is particularly meaningful as it coincides with the 60th anniversary of the Japan-Israel relationship and the 40th anniversary of Yamamoto's company, Y's.

Yohji Yamamoto says "After exhibiting in London, Florence and Paris, it is a natural flow for me to organise an exhibition in Israel this time - a country very rich in culture. In an era where we only receive prepared information, as a thinker, I want to see Israel with my own eyes and feel it through my skin to get to know it well. Now I will be able to experience it live". 

The exposition will challenge and re-conceptualise the way in which conventional fashion exhibitions are presented. A series of site specific installations will be presented throughout the Museum spaces and will examine the intriguing dialogue developed between Yamamoto's groundbreaking work and the distinctive architectural structure of Design Museum Holon, designed by Ron Arad.

The exhibition will present over 80 Yohji Yamamoto's signature women and menswear silhouettes, exploring discussions between people, places, clothing and design. The expressive installation, designed by Mr Masao Nihei, will cleverly bring together all the various indoor and outdoor spaces of the museum, including the two major galleries, lab space, garden and public areas. The flow of objects through the various spaces will create a continuous stream of inspiration, inviting visitors to experience a journey of emotions, memories and design.

This Exhibition is supported by the Japan Foundation and The Embassy of Japan in Israel to celebrate the 60th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Japan and Israel.
The lower gallery will recreate the vibrancy and heightened feeling of a bustling city with 38 figures moving according to a time based mechanism, accompanied by an urban soundtrack. In contrast to Yamamoto's image as ‘the master of black', the selected work will showcase designs rich in colour and texture for the simulated cityscape. "I like cities" says Yamamoto in a 2002 interview with Hans Ulrich Obrist, "I like them because they allow great freedom, in them we can be anonymous, a lot of things happen in them, things change at every given moment. Cities are always in the process of change".

The upper gallery will invite visitors to interact with the abstract installation in a soft, focused and meditative space. A great tree made of lights will occupy the centre of this space, serving as a source of light and energy, for the ten black and red evening gowns located throughout the gallery. The space will provide a tranquil and mystical experience that invited the spectator to sit and ponder, whilst the dramatic positioning serves to create a discourse between the experience of a museum visitor and that of a Yamamoto fashion show spectator.

"It is important for me to present before an audience without rehearsals", says Yamamoto, "because it is alive and immediate, and I immediately approach the real moment in which models and garments meet for the first time, and then quite naturally something unexpected happens, which I like. They walk out to the front of the stage, face the audience, and behind the scenes we feel the reaction. That moment, which is very emotional, cannot be represented by any medium, neither photography, film, nor text".

The Design Lab, which will be transformed into an integral part of the exhibition space this summer; will show some twenty male figures dressed in black in conversation with a white figure attired in a Pina Bausch gown. Additional figures will be positioned in a curvilinear passageway, the Museum forecourt and the Upper Pavilion.

Galit Gaon, Design Museum Holon's Chief Curator, comments, "Working on the exhibition was one of the most complex, challenging, and riveting, processes we have undergone in the two years we have been operating. Bringing together two creators like Ron Arad and Yohji Yamamoto wasn't self-evident, and was attended by meticulous examination of movement and presentation space - exterior and interior alike. At the same time, we look forward to the moment when the very first visitors come in, and only then will the exhibition come to life".

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