Saturday, July 9, 2016

Hiroki Nakamura of Visvim

New York Times - "More Than a Cult Designer:Hiroki Nakamura Goes Big"

"“When I started the business, I asked myself what I wanted out of this, and I realized what I wanted was to create products that made me happy,” Mr. Nakamura once told this reporter."

"Mr. Nakamura opened the door to a tansu (a storage cabinet). Stacked inside were scores of folded textiles — kantha cloth from Kolkata, India; Teec Nos Pos weavings from a Navajo reservation; silk embroidery fragments from Herat province in Afghanistan; lengths of cochineal dyed wool from Nepal — sealed inside Ziploc bags to protect them from the depredations of mold and insects.

“My inspiration mostly comes from old textiles, beautifully made stuff from the past,” said Mr. Nakamura, who, beginning as a teenager, scavenged thrift shops for World War II surplus items, 1950s denim work wear and Buddhist pilgrims’ coats. “I always wanted to make things that, as much as the vintage stuff I am drawn to, have strong energy.”

Asked why certain old things possess “energy” while others don’t, Mr. Nakamura grinned and shrugged.

The answer may rest, again, in traditional Japanese philosophy. The takumi, or “craft,” masters of certain disciplines are said to have come to them as a result of skills honed over a lifetime."

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