mannequins in gowns climb up a giant slope in OMA-designed dior exhibition in tokyo

mannequins in gowns climb up a giant slope in OMA-designed dior exhibition in tokyo

Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams by OMA / Shohei Shigematsu

 

Following OMA’s exhibition designs for ‘Dior: From Paris to the World’, the House of Dior’s first retrospectives in the United States at the Denver Art Museum and the Dallas Museum of Art, a new exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo presents 70 years of history and ties between the French fashion house and Japan. Led by OMA partner Shohei Shigematsu, the scenography pays homage to Japanese culture and tradition while offering an immersive and varied experience more akin to set design. Across two floors of the MOT, 22 curatorial themes are deployed into separate, specific, immersive environments.

 

‘The fashion exhibition is a domain that requires architecture to become a narrative medium,’ says Shohei Shigematsu. ‘We wanted to expand and diversify potentials for storytelling through a retrospective that not only looks back at history but brings new life and relevance to today’s culture. As a Japanese architect trained and operating in the West, it was exciting to discover Dior’s relationship and history with Japan. The exhibition experience is designed to take others on a similar journey of discovery, highlighting new synergies between Japan and France, architecture and couture, tradition and innovation.’mannequins in gowns climb up a giant slope in OMA-designed dior exhibition in tokyo

© Photography by Daici Ano, Courtesy Dior

 

 

AN IMMERSIVE EXPERIENCE AT Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo

 

OMA’s scenography for ‘Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams’ reimagines the white-cube gallery beyond its limits, with rooms transitioning between light and dark, intimate and grand, organic and orthogonal. The exhibition design at the Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo utilizes different techniques, materials, or motifs referential to elements shared between Japanese tradition and culture and Dior history and contemporary collections. Visual and spatial qualities of known elements and construction techniques like Shoji screens and Nebuta floats are manipulated, exaggerated, and shaped into contemporary forms. Familiar and enigmatic, the constructed landscapes create a series of distinct and immersive environments and a new set of surfaces to expand storytelling capacity.

 

‘The scenography is a series of distinct set designs for diverse curatorial themes,’ explains Shigematsu. ‘The starting point for each set was a common ground shared by Dior and Japan such as a mode of craft or material expression. By translating and manipulating that shared element into architectural forms and contemporary shapes, we provide a new set of surfaces for storytelling that feels surprising and tectonic, yet grounded in the inventive and disciplined beauty we found to be authentic to both the House of Dior and Japanese culture.’

mannequins in gowns climb up a giant slope in OMA-designed dior exhibition in tokyo

 

 

 

THE EXHIBITION SET DESIGN

 

The grandest set of the exhibition is ‘The Dior Ball’, a single, grand slope where mannequins in gowns climb up as spectators view their ‘procession’ from below or above from a bridge. An angled mirror at the top of the slope continues the geometry infinitely and reflects the garments and scenography in an unexpected way. Underneath, more intimate environment is inserted for ‘Dior around the World.’ Visitors step into a domed room comprised of layers of concentric fabric surfaces, forming a scenographic hemisphere with animated projections.

 

In one of the key themes of the exhibition, ‘Dior and Japan’, a winding path and pockets for display along it, akin to stations of the Japanese Tea Garden, is expanded vertically and horizontally. The wooden structure is wrapped in backlit Tenjiku fabric and Awagami washi paper, creating a layered, luminous backdrop for the garments and artifacts. The three-dimensional landscape is projected onto with various patterns and motifs to further activate the space.

‘The Dior Legacy’ is a unified framework of a series of spaces dedicated to the House of Dior’s seven creative directors. Enlarged fabric panels are deployed as enfilade dividers that draw from fusuma and Sudare hanging panels commonly used in Japanese interiors to organize multiple environments in a single space. The screens used to segment the space are printed with larger-than-life photographs by Yuriko Takagi, creating an additional narrative medium that provides a visual understanding of the continuity from one creative director to another.mannequins in gowns climb up a giant slope in OMA-designed dior exhibition in tokyo

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mannequins in gowns climb up a giant slope in OMA-designed dior exhibition in tokyo

mannequins in gowns climb up a giant slope in OMA-designed dior exhibition in tokyomannequins in gowns climb up a giant slope in OMA-designed dior exhibition in tokyo

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mannequins in gowns climb up a giant slope in OMA-designed dior exhibition in tokyo

mannequins in gowns climb up a giant slope in OMA-designed dior exhibition in tokyomannequins in gowns climb up a giant slope in OMA-designed dior exhibition in tokyo

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project info:

 

name: Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams

designer: OMA / Shohei Shigematsu

client: Dior

location: Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo, Japan

total floor area: 2,000 sqm

 

OMA team

associate: Christy Cheng
project architect: Jesse Catalano, Byron Heng Sheng Cai, Jintong Duan, Timothy Ho, Hangsoo Jeong, Eugene Kim, Janet Lu

 

collaborators

Christian Dior Couture: Gérald Chevalier, Hélene Starkman, Daphné Catroux, Alice Gariepy, Alice Lefevre, Anne-Charlotte Mercier, Stéphanie Pélian, Charlotte Rezé, Isabelle Rousset
curator: Florence Müller
Kiri-E artist: Ayumi Shibata
photographer: Yuriko Takagi
production: NPU Corporation
mounting: Agence Alighieri
construction: Branco Inc., TSUMURA KOGEI Co. Ltd
transportation and installation: Yamato Transport Co., Ltd., LP Art
projections: NOLL Inc, TAKENAKA Co. Ltd
lighting and sound design: HEART-S GROUP
headpieces: Stephen Jones

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