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Dress code, a play on fashion

China Daily Hong Kong Edition | Updated: 2019-09-16 14:43
Rei Kawakubo's design for Comme des Garçons Spring Summer 2018 collection [Photo/The Kyoto Costume Institute]

Yasumasa Morimura, a Japanese appropriation artist who re-enacts historical portraits and photos, bends roles and gender in Self-Portrait as Marilyn in Tokyo University, Komaba Campus, where he assumes Marilyn Monroe's identity while striking the famous pose in which she holds down her skirt while the wind blows from below – as a bunch of bored-looking university students sit unmoved in a lecture hall.

To explore the relationship between characters and clothing in theatre, film and manga, the Kyoto Costume Institute commissioned artists to create work based on the exhibition concept. These include Shinichi Sakamoto, the author of the manga series Innocent and Innocent Rouge, as well as the theater companies Mum & Gypsy and Chelfitsch. The latter two make use of the Costume Institute's vast collection, highlighting the process of choosing clothing to match the personalities of each character in a theatrical work – and the resulting creation mirrors the everyday action of picking out clothes when we get up in the morning.

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