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Dior Homme’s “Black Carpet” collection was celebrated last week in Miami with a special installation of Isamu Noguchi lanterns, in collaboration with Laffanour Galerie Downtown. Artistic Director Kris Van Assche customized six Akari lanterns with floral imagery especially for the Miami Design District boutique. Whitewall spoke with Van Assche about art, design, and Japanese craftsmanship.
WHITEWALL: What initially did you connect with in the work of Isamu Noguchi?
KRIS VAN ASSCHE: There is something very poetic and artisanal about his way of working which is something that I very much connect to. Each piece is totally handmade and therefore unique which is the ultimate sense of luxury.
WW: What made them a good fit for the Miami boutique?
KVA: We had the great opportunity, thanks to Laffanour Galerie Downtown, to get an installation of 50 original Isamu Noguchi light sculptures for the décor of the dinner that we organize to celebrate Art Basel in Miami Beach and the launch of the Dior Homme Black Carpet collection. The idea of the Black Carpet was to convey the energy and rebel attitude of the runway collection on a capsule collection of evening wear while playing with the embellishment codes and the know-how of Dior. The know-how and the work of the Atelier is very important for me, and this is the essence of Isamu Noguchi’s work. We have a similar approach, the idea of customizing some of the lanterns came naturally as an evidence.
WW: Can you tell us about how you customized the six light sculptures?
KVA: We customized the six light sculptures using pictures of flowers I take and regularly post on my Instagram. These floral images have been printed on a specific paper and applied on the lamps in the style of an urban street collage. It was essential for me to respect the artistic essence of Isamu Noguchi’s work, so we selected the paper very carefully and worked by hand to respect the construction of the original lamps.
WW: What kind of transformation did you want to take place?
KVA: I am attracted by contrasts and wished to confront the poetry of flowers and of traditional Japanese craftsmanship with the urban and contemporary angles of Instagram and street art.
WW: What do you look forward to each year at Art Basel in Miami Beach?
KVA: I always hope to discover new art works and design pieces, I am very interested in art and design and always eager to do art fairs like Art Basel in Miami Beach.
WW: Has anything yet caught your eye?
KVA: Thomas Fritsch and his amazing Pol Chambost ceramics.