So-en August 2012 P-132

Kaoru Hirano Re-Dress
by Ryohei Nakajima

“My mother's hobby was sewing; she often made my clothes when I was young. As an activity I would watch, making clothes to create art work was an idea born naturally.”
Currently based in Berlin, artist Kaoru Hirano maintains her practice using clothes as material for her work. As a student in 1999, she made self portrait, her first work that used clothes. Applying glue to keep creases on the pyjamas, she attempted to imprint a night's body movement into fabric.
“For example, not knowing whose the discarded clothes are, could give a bad feeling. This is because clothes are not mere objects, there is something there that the eye does not see, I think. You might be able to describe it as the owner's “presence”, “trace” or “memory”. If the state of the fabric deconstructed to pattern shapes preserved the body's memory when self portrait was made, I thought that even when unravelling it further to the state of threads, the owner's memory could be kept in each thread.”
The clothes someone wore is deconstructed by pulling its thread and reconstructed into a different shape by uniting the threads to make the owner's portrait emerge. Hirano's practice started from three-dimensional work using clothes to express an individual's portrait. Gradually from there, she says that her attention was directed towards the environment and history surrounding an individual.
“I currently live in East Berlin. I was given clothes by a family who has been living here for some time and I made the family's portrait with the material. This was because I thought that one could read the past that should not be repeated, from the figure of the family from East Berlin that experienced a tragic past of isolation after the East-West split.”
At the solo exhibition, Re-Dress, opening from 29th June, new work will be shown using as material, a second-hand wedding dress bought from a rental costume shop. The dress that several women wore is deconstructed, drawing one to the threads' delicacy while its dynamic form that occupies the space possesses a corporeal appeal, forming the installation.
“Using the rental wedding dress, I thought of trying to embody the bride's existence. The particular existence of the bride is only on the day the marriage ritual takes place. The family name changes after a marriage; there is a particular moment in the ritual when the family changes. Expanding from the individual's portrait, I started to think I might be able to express history and society, and the idea of using clothes to express a ritual was born.”
Apart from the wedding dress, second-hand clothes were also used for several two-dimensional and three-dimensional works that will be exhibited. When one is in the exhibition space, the “person's presence” embodied in the works can be felt. At that moment, I would like you to also pay attention to the society and history in the background as the installation would speak to the part where the reason and emotion connects.

Translated by Ryotaro Hoshino and Magdalen Chua


現在、ベルリンを拠点に制作を続けるアーティストの平野薫が、作品の素材に用いるのは衣服。学生時代の1999年に手がけた《self portrait》が、衣服を用いた最初の作品だ。自ら手がけたパジャマを着て一晩眠り、再び型紙の状態にまでパジャマを解体して標本のように展示する手法。パジャマについたしわを糊付けして残し、一晩の体の動きを布に刻み付けようと試みた。
「例えば、誰のものかわからない服が脱ぎ捨てられていると、気持ち悪さを感じることもありますよね。ものとしての服だけではなくて、目に見えない何かがそこにはあるからだと思うんです。持ち主の“気配”や“痕跡”、“記憶”と言ってもいいかもしれません。《self portrait》を作ったとき、型紙の形状にまで解体した布の状態に体の記憶が残るのであれば、それをさらにほどいて糸の状態にしても、その1本1本に持ち主の姿が残されるのではないかと考えたんです」

© Kaoru HIRANO