Kozaburo Akasaka: WAVE OF SAND
Thursday, February 11 through Saturday, February 20 from 11 a.m. until 6:00 p.m.
NowHere – 40 Wooster Street (between Grand and Broome Streets)
Japanese-born, Brooklyn-based designer Kozaburo Akasaka is known for his signature menswear, in which classic details are cleverly updated with inspiration from street style and subculture. In his synthesis of tradition and subversion, Akasaka creates work that feels as if it comes from the near-future—a place that isn’t entirely alien to us, but that has advanced further along the paths of aesthetics and style. Upon winning the prestigious LVMH Special Prize in 2017, Akasaka cemented his reputation as a leading mind in the world of fashion design.
In this exhibition, NowHere presents Akasaka’s Wave of Sand, a new collection of functionally minded garments anchored by his Gigi pants. Inspired by his time practicing karate, the Gigis (pronounced with hard g’s) are meant to serve wearers of all body types in all sorts of activities. “I want the owner of the Gigi pants to be able to wear them wherever they want to go,” says Akasaka. “Just like classic jeans.”
But at the same time, there is an emotional component complementing the practical element of this work. Wave of Sand is driven by Akasaka’s vision of a more egalitarian future. “In a broader sense, I’m picturing a state of harmony where individuals respect each other’s uniqueness,” he says. “A moment filled with love and adventure. My hope for Wave of Sand is to provide a feeling of connection with this sense.
“I often think of an idea I learned from my karate dojo,” Akasaka says. “Buken shu-ki, which means ‘Practice as a way of finding and realizing your own potential.’ I interpret this to mean that through practice, the aim is not to defeat the opponent but to develop and realize oneself.”
In the democratically conceived pieces on display here, we see this idealist philosophy made concrete in a humble but significant way: a garment that is engineered to adapt to any body in any circumstance. If this work can be taken as a glimpse of a possible future, then it can also be seen as a welcomed occasion for optimism.
NowHere is a hub for emerging Japanese artists. The focus of the SoHo gallery is on creatives who come from Japan to New York City, whether for a visit or to stay. They feature work from a broad spectrum of media, from digital to fashion, culinary arts to photography, and everything in between. NowHere is dedicated to building community and expanding their artists’ networks.
NowHere is open Wednesday through Sunday from 11:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m. No appointment required.
For more information, please visit NowHere’s website.