PLEATS PLEASE by ISSEY MIYAKE Guest Artist Series No. 4 Cai Guo-Qiang Gunpowder Top 1998
A rare and coveted Pleats Please by Issey Miyake top from the collaboration with Chinese artist Cai Guo-Qiang, Guest Artist Series No. 4, 1998. The mind-boggling process of creating the design by sprinkling gunpowder onto the patterns and evoking a detonation is shown in the YouTube video above (an even more prolonged and more detailed version here). Asymmetrical cut, pleated throughout. 100% polyester. Made in Japan.
Reference picture 1 shows the garments on the runway (via Cai Guo-Qiang), reference picture 2 gives us an impression of the exhibition "Issey Miyake Making Things" (Fondation Cartier pour l'Art Contemporain, 1998-1999). The second video provides a very interesting insight into the exhibition.
A dress of this series is held by the Metropolitan Museum's Costume Institute archives. They state: "Miyake launched the Pleats Please Guest Artist Series in 1996. For the fourth collaboration in the series, Chinese artist Cai Guo-Qiang used gunpowder explosions to burn images of dragons, a Chinese symbol for life, onto a group of finished white garments. To produce the line, Miyake adjusted the images for printing on flat fabric before cutting, sewing, and pleating."
Kerry Taylor Auctions sold a dress of this series for £20,000. They describe the design and trace its rich exhibition history that underlines its relevance: "This Chinese artist produces these prints/designs by means of detonating gun-powder charges on paper which leaves a residue of scorch marks and ash, reminiscent of traditional Chinese calligraphic ink drawings. The undulating lines are suggestive of serpents, Chinese dragons or snaking river paths. An identical dress was included in the following exhibitions: Breaking the Mode: Contemporary Fashion from the Permanent Collection, Florence, ITA, Palazzo Strozzi, October 12, 2007-January 20, 2008 Los Angeles, CA, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, September 17, 2006-January 7, 2007 Indianapolis, IN, Indianapolis Museum of Art, March 16, 2008-June 1, 2008 Literature: Cai Guo-Qiang: 'I Want to Believe', Guggenheim Museum, New York, 2008, colour illustration, p167."
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