'Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams' Exhibit Opens in Tokyo

The scenographic narrative and curation by OMA pay homage to Japanese culture and tradition

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OMA/Shohei Shigematsu designed scenography for Dior at Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo (MOT) is now open to the public, on view until May 28, 2023. Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams marks the biggest exhibition dedicated to the House of Dior to take place in Japan, and OMA’s third exhibition design collaboration with Dior.


From Paris to the World, the House of Dior’s first retrospectives in the United States at the Denver Art Museum (2018) and the Dallas Museum of Art (2019), the new exhibition in Tokyo presents 70 years of history and ties between Dior and Japan in a reinvented scenographic narrative and curation paying homage to Japanese culture and tradition.

story imageChristian Dior: Designer of Dreams, Exhibition view of “Dior and Japan”. Photography by Daici Ano, Courtesy Dior.

 

“The fashion exhibition is a domain that requires architecture to become a narrative medium. We wanted to expand and diversify potentials for storytelling through a retrospective that not only looks back at history but brings new life and relevance to today’s culture. As a Japanese architect trained and operating in the West, it was exciting to discover Dior’s relationship and history with Japan. The exhibition experience is designed to take others on a similar journey of discovery, highlighting new synergies between Japan and France, architecture and couture, tradition and innovation,” said Shohei Shigematsu, OMA Partner.

story imageChristian Dior: Designer of Dreams, Exhibition view of “Dior and Japan”. Photography by Daici Ano, Courtesy Dior.

 

In response to the linear procession of galleries within MOT, and the extensive contextual and cultural references of the curation, the scenography is designed to emphasize diversity in tradition, scale, materiality, symbolism, topography, techniques, procession, and organization through a sequence of otherworldly environments. The distinct spaces are organized to alternate between light and dark, expansive and intimate, fluid and rigid to take visitors on a multi-dimensional journey of discovery.

story imageChristian Dior: Designer of Dreams, Exhibition view of “Dior and Japan”. Photography by Daici Ano, Courtesy Dior.

 

Each space draws from elements shared between Japanese tradition and culture, and Dior history and contemporary collections—from specific themes and elements to techniques and construction to devise a unique set of a grand performance. Manipulations to visual and spatial qualities of familiar elements create a set of new surfaces that are super-imposed with dynamic projections and graphics, as well as pieces by Japanese artist Ayumi Shibata and photographer Yuriko Takagi.

story imageChristian Dior: Designer of Dreams, Exhibition view of “Dior and Japan”. Photography by Daici Ano, Courtesy Dior.

 

“The scenography is a series of distinct set designs for diverse curatorial themes. The starting point for each set was a common ground shared by Dior and Japan such as a mode of craft or material expression. By translating and manipulating that shared element into architectural forms and contemporary shapes, we provide a new set of surfaces for storytelling that feels surprising and tectonic, yet grounded in the inventive and disciplined beauty we found to be authentic to both the House of Dior and Japanese culture,” said Shigematsu.

 

Press Release

All images: Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams, Exhibition view of “Dior and Japan”. Photography by Daici Ano, Courtesy Dior.

 

 

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    Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams 7

    Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams

    Tokyo / Japan / 2022