ghost of ginza
Four artists each take Gucci themes and run with them for the Italian label’s latest project in Tokyo. Justine Lee checks out the real and virtual results
Four artists take Gucci themes and run with them in both the real and digital realms for the Italian label’s latest project
o say that Gucci has undergone something of a renaissance in recent years is an understatement. Under the eclectic direction of Alessandro Michele, the house has flourished. Earlier this year, Michele chose Tokyo as the backdrop for Gucci’s cinematic autumn/winter 2016 campaign, shot by Glen Luchford in the spirit of Lost in Translation. Models were pictured exploring the city—with kimono-clad women and cherry blossoms, at bustling intersections and even inside a Pachinko parlour.
In developing Gucci’s latest project, an art installation called Gucci 4 Rooms, Michele was again drawn to the bright lights of the Japanese capital. He invited four artists to each create a room using a motif or themes he has introduced at the Italian fashion house. The installation at Dover Street Market Ginza brought together three Japanese artists— Daito Manabe, Chiharu Shiota, Mr (whose real name is Masakatsu Iwamoto) and New Yorkbased Trevor “Trouble” Andrew, the graffiti artist known as Guccighost.
Andrew’s work is literally all over Gucci’s autumn/winter 2016 collection. The artist’s stylised double-g tags seen around New York were seemingly an inspiration for Michele, who personally enlisted him to work with Gucci on the collection.
Guccighost was central to the Tokyo installation. His artwork occupied the Elephant Room at Dover Street Market Ginza, while the online version of Gucci 4 Rooms involves a Pokémon Go-style game in which Andrew’s room can only be entered by catching three Guccighosts in the other rooms. In reality, visitors were free to walk from room to room of the exhibition. The rooms’ Gucci-linked themes were chosen by the artists themselves: Shiota worked with the label’s herbarium pattern; Manabe with words; and Mr combined manga characters with garden imagery.