TOKYO — A new exhibit set to open in the Japanese capital will bring together traditional craftsmanship, high-tech robotics, and leading contemporary artists from around the world. Dubbed Kimono Roboto, the project is being led by Hong Kong-based company Melco Resorts and Entertainment.
“This is a passion project — plain and simple. Japanese arts and culture have been an inspiration of mine since I was young, and I’m glad to be able to say that it’s an enthusiasm shared throughout the Melco family today,” Lawrence Ho, chairman and chief executive officer of the company was quoted as saying in a release. “We could not be more honored or excited to celebrate the heritage, culture and arts of Japan alongside our partners and these kimono artisans.”
On display will be 13 kimonos, each made using a unique, traditional production method. Medco began working on the project in 2014, commissioning 23 museum-quality pieces from regions across the country. The company was aided by experts from Kyoto prefecture and two local museums.
The centerpiece of the exhibit will be a furisode kimono, a formal style made from fine silk and featuring long, dramatic sleeves. The piece took two years to complete, and visitors to the exhibition will be able to zoom in on the details of the extraordinary craftsmanship using robotic arms and cameras integrated into the display.
There will also be a kimono made from fine Oshima Tsumugi silk from the island of Amami Oshima, as well as others made by highly skilled regional artisans.
But more than just displaying beautiful, traditional works of art together with robots, the exhibit will also incorporate the talents of six contemporary artists working in a variety of fields. Launching the event will be the world premier of Bjork’s latest music video, in which the Icelandic singer and songwriter dons the furisode kimono on display. Photographs by Peter Lindbergh and Koichiro Doi of the kimonos will accompany the pieces themselves, and runway producer Alexandre de Betak has created an immersive exhibition experience accentuated by a kaleidoscope of extraordinary visuals by Warren du Preez and Nick Thornton-Jones.
“Japanese culture is inspirational. These kimonos are inspirational,” Ho said in a release. “We truly hope others around the world will find these re-creations as remarkable as we have, especially told as they are through the visuals and music of exceptional artists like Björk.”
The Kimono Roboto exhibit opens Friday and runs through Dec. 10 at the high-end Omotesando Hills shopping center.