A collection by Koji Arai, MoMu Award winner 2006

From June 20th till August 13th MoMu presented the graduation collection of Koji Arai (°1975, Japan).

This collection was inspired by the Japanese notion of I-Shoku-Ju (衣食住) , which means 'clothing-food-shelter', The Last Supper by Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519) and the Italian fairy tale figure of Pinocchio, a wooden marionette brought to life by a fairy on the wishes of its creator, the puppet maker Geppetto.

In Leonardo da Vinci’s 15th century interpretation of the Last Supper, Christ and his Apostles are depicted all seated in a row at a long table, although historically it is far more plausible that they were sitting on the floor whilst eating.

For Koji the process from laying down to standing up is comparable to the development of the human race from monkey to human being, with sitting on a chair as the midpoint between these two states.

Koji’s collection consists of 12 silhouettes. During the graduation show 12 models demonstrate the movement from sitting down to standing up, beginning in a long row as in Da Vinci’s Last Supper.

Pinocchio can be described as a human, not perfect puppet. He stands halfway between a human being and a piece of wood, and was a marionette before he was given an independent will. He is poorly constructed and his organic nose grows longer when he lies.

Koji links the figure of Pinocchio to Scandinavian furniture design (Hans J. Wegner, Borge Mogensen, Alvar Aalto, Peter Opsvik), since both are made out of wood and both are characterized by their organic shapes and lines.

Each silhouette consists of 3 levels. The underwear is inspired by Pinocchio. The second and third level consist of outer garments and chairs, made from leather and wood.

The combination of materials refers to Scandinavian furniture; the structure and the modularity are inspired by the Karakuri puppets.

For the +1 MAGAZINE compiled by the 4th year students, Koji Arai teamed up with Maison Martin Margiela.

The result of this collaboration is Koji’s contemporary interpretation of `The Last Supper´.

Credits: Story

Every year, MoMu awards a prize to one of the graduating Master students of the Fashion Department of the Royal Academy of Fine Arts Antwerp: originality, a strong visual language and craftsmanship are key ingredients for a collection to win a prize.

The MoMu Award gives a single student the opportunity to present his or her collection in an exhibition at the MoMu Gallery.

Special thanks to Koji Arai and the photographers Kumi Oguro, Tim Stoops and Etienne Tordoir.

Credits: All media
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