COSMIC WONDER is the most eye-catching and experimental fashion label from Japan. In 1999, Yukinori Maeda (1971) set up COSMIC WONDER in Osaka, which remains to be the base of operations for him and his 11 coworkers. Maeda has deliberately chosen not to establish creative operations in hyperactive Tokyo as he finds Osaka, a city with an almost Eastern European atmosphere, without any distractions or pretensions, the best place to concentrate. Maeda studied architecture in Kyoto, before he decided to design garments instead of buildings. Clothing being closer to human body than buildings, he may have found his field of expression in its intimacy withpeople's daily lives.
Maeda: ‘Which seems superfluous and absurd, is often to me the most beautiful and fascinating aspect.’ In a recent interview he defines his design attitude as ‘to find the truth after I found contradiction.’
COSMIC WONDER occupies a unique position within the Japanese art and fashion world. While many ontemporary Japanese artists favour a flashy, colourful style dominated by influences from manga, pop culture and games, Maeda deliberately turns his back on these manifestations of aggressive and hollow excitement.
Maeda's fascination is found in the traditional Japanese values that are based on the concepts of harmony and purity. Even his diet reflect this philosophy of life, drawn more to organically grown and basic but well studied food. On his desk in his Osaka studio, stack of book sits there as his current inspiration, yet also mysteriously unite in visual aesthetics. No computer, and no telephone in his immediate vicinity. The Osaka studio and shop cohabits in a carefully crafted building with
COSMIC WONDER aesthetics, and glows in pure white with florescent light. Recently, a hole for a plant growing from underneath was added to their desks. The balance of nature and thorough control sits serenely in COSMIC WONDER's agenda.
Since 1999, COSMIC WONDER has participated in the Paris fashion week with performance heavy presentation. During the fashion week, the label had a couple of smaller scale exhibitions in Parisian galleries but never before a large-scale solo exhibition in Europe. The exhibition at MU presents various installations, video, photos and sound. It is not a display of 40 dummies showing 40 garments but an overall work combining existing and new creations. The projects COSMIC WONDER will deliver especially for this exhibition include new video works and further exploration of recurring theme "magic village". Naturally, some elements and ideas from the COSMIC WONDER's installation at both "magic village" Spring/Summer 05 and Fall/Winter 06 collection will come into play and specific interpretation of the space MU will further contribute to this young artist's creative endeavor. Maeda's fashion identity COSMIC WONDER will carry out its own journey and video work will be staged in close cooperation with the Japanese artist Yuki Kimura (1971). Kimura has been a visual contributor to many of COSMIC WONDER's printed matter and video works. A COSMIC WONDER publication, edited and designed in close cooperation with Purple in Paris, is being released in conjunction with the exhibition. On earlier occasions, MU worked with Purple on the release of "Kim's Bedroom" and "Mark Borthwick" books. This Purple Book is not a catalogue of the COSMIC WONDER show but rather an artist book. It contains texts, poetry, photos and collages. Christophe Brunnquell will design the publication.
The exhibition will open with a performance by Yukinori Maeda in close cooperation with Yoshimi, known from the illustrious Japanese bands Boredoms and ooioo, Hisham Bharoocha, Tsuka, Stephen Sprott, and Yuki Kimura (as VJ).