Launched last month, Wafrica — Africa plus wa for Japan — has unveiled a range of kimono handcrafted in an array of African cotton fabrics that would seem to be a million miles from the subtle silks more commonly associated with traditional Japanese dress. Yet despite the orange comets and flashes of lightning tearing across a moss-green background, and the tribal swirls in colors that recall the sun-drenched African soil, the prints blend seamlessly into the kimono form before they surprise Japanese shoppers with their foreign origin.
The cultural cocktail is the brainchild of Serge Mouangue, a Tokyo-based concept- car designer for Nissan, who joined forces with Kururi, a Tokyo-based kimono- maker, to produce the traditional Japanese attire in 18 African prints sourced in markets from Nigeria to Senegal.
Serge Mouange introduces the WAfrica concept and kimono (Fashion show)
Fuente Monumental Las Nereidas (by Lola Mora) in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Photos of the bookWindow Seat - Jennilee Marigomen
Published by New DocumentsEdition of 500Hardcover / 22.8cm x 29.7cm / 64 pages / $35Special edition of 25 with 8” x 11” print / $125Printed in KoreaWindow Seat is a sequence of simple and beautiful gestures that both acknowledges the metaphor of photography-as-window and consciously resists reading the world metaphorically. Rather, Jennilee Marigomen’s photographs show the benefit of careful attention to the overlooked and often ephemeral beauty in our everyday surroundings.
The succession of objects and scenes slowly reveal the project’s context: one comes to recognize the seaside town’s whitewashed walls, sunseekers, blue sea, and bluer swimming pools. Yet even as street signs and warm light hint at a geographical referent for the work, the images in Window Seat continually veer away from a unified narrative, documenting neither a place nor a journey, in service of the beautiful particular. Within the project, the world’s pieces are celebrated through fragmentary, isolated, and quietly beautiful frames untasked with telling a larger, linear story. Rather, the sequence of images suggests that the world is made up of neglected sites imbedded within, and constitutive of, the everyday, which the keen sensibilities of a talented photographer can animate, arrange, and make deeply compelling for the viewer. - Nich McElroyEditor: Jeff Khonsary
Text by: Nich McElroy / Copyeditor: Jaclyn Arndt
Proofs: Jason Fulford
Design: The FutureSupport provided by the BC Arts Council and the City of Vancouver. New Documents operates in collaboration with the Projectile Publishing Society.
Vancouver Book Launch and Exhibition
Friday September 26, 2014
257 East 7th Avenue
7-10pmAlso available at:Filip / New Documents TablePrinted Matter’s New York Art Book FairSeptember 25-28, 2014MoMA PS122-25 JacksonLong Island City, NY
Photograph by Inez van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin; styled by Edward Enninful; W magazine October 2014.