The interweb has been alive this week with pictures of the visually breath-taking Akio Hirata exhibition at the Spiral Garden in Tokyo. Hirata is Japan's leading milliner and the exhibition showcases a retrospective of his work over the last 70 years, installed by Japanese designers Nendo.
The official blurb goes something like;The mass-produced non-woven fabric hats we created for the space are the antithesis of Hirata’s carefully handmade hats, and bring them into sharp relief through dramatic contrast.
Hirata oversaw the shape of these hats, which float and stream through the exhibition like ghosts or shells of the real hats exhibited. Some are exhibition stands; others become walls, ceilings and diffusers to scatter light through the space. Flooded with roughly 4000 of these ‘ghost hats’ as though shrouded in a cloud, the exhibition space softly invites visitors inside. There, they find not clear-cut paths to follow but an environment in which they can wander and discover Hirata’s creations as they like, as a way of physically experiencing the creative freedom that underlies Hirata’s work.
It is simply stunning and unfortunately finished on Sunday. As usual I find out after the event, not that I could have gone though as I've been in the far more exotic surrounds of forgotten industrial Richmond (which I actually have quite a fondness for; cycling past the beautiful Bryant & May factory every morning is a particular highlight), making the first pieces for my own 70 year retrospective.... not long to wait!!!