Tomo Koizumi’s inaugural solo art exhibition, titled “Tomo Koizumi,” is now open at the contemporary art gallery YUKIKOMIZUTANI within TERRADA ART COMPLEXⅡ in Tennozu, running from December 9, 2023 to February 10, 2024.
In 2011, while still in university, Tomo Koizumi founded his brand “TOMO KOIZUMI,” which has since become synonymous with boldly incorporating frills into designs. Notably, two recent standouts of Koizumi’s works include designing the striking white dress worn by singer MISIA during the 2020 Tokyo Olympics opening ceremony, and also the show-stopping dress which appeared on Sam Smith in their video “I’m Not Here To Make Friends.” In addition to Sam Smith, Koizumi has also gained substantial support from globally acclaimed musicians like Bjork, resulting in numerous successful collaborations.
When one thinks of “frills,” images of a soft, girlish style may come to mind. However, Tomo Koizumi’s frills defy presumptions and expectations. Upon my initial encounter, I was struck by their powerful and ferociously joyful presence—a sensation akin to being playfully confronted by the very essence of the frilliness.
This exhibition explores the boundary between fashion and art, transforming the gallery space into a dynamic, ever-changing environment that cleverly resembles a closet framed by the gallery itself. The displays incorporate three-dimensional elements, including works suspended from the ceiling like artistic objects and deliberately unbalanced pieces on the walls. The arrangements were reportedly decided on the spot through Tomo Koizumi’s experimentation during the exhibition.
On display are works from Koizumi’s presentation “Dress as a painting, Painting as a dress,” which were unveiled in Paris in September 2023. These pieces, initially seen worn as dresses, break away from the confines of fashion, inviting attendees to interpret them more openly and freely. Stepping into the exhibition without any prior knowledge, one could easily interpret the pieces and the exhibition itself as contemporary art.
Tomo Koizumi has consistently crafted dresses with the enduring belief of creating fashion that can be treated as art. Driven by the belief in infusing a surprising yet harmonious, unspoken beauty into his designs, he continues to expand his expression, seamlessly navigating between the worlds of fashion and art.
Yukiko Mizutani, the owner of the gallery, was personally moved by the beauty of Tomo Koizumi’s dress creations and his passion for art — a dedication he has upheld since 2022. This heartfelt connection led to her extending an offer, resulting in the realization of his solo exhibition. Tomo Koizumi expressed his hope that through this exhibition, there can be a reevaluation of values in the fashion world and that it serves as a bridge between the realms of art and fashion.
For those who find joy in displaying art on their walls, these pieces might be perfect for integrating into their home decor or featuring in their gallery spaces. The great news is that all the artworks are available for purchase. The pieces can be freely experimented with in different ways of showcasing – an enjoyment to explore without limitations.
With the dynamic displays, and the undoubted emanating artistry, this exhibition made me contemplate the meaninglessness of genres or categories when it comes to creativity. With free admission, even if you’re not familiar with TOMO KOIZUMI, it’s an experience that is highly recommended – you’ll surely be captivated by the striking pieces and drawn in by the allure of frills at least once.
Back in 2011, during his university years, Tomo Koizumi launched his own brand. Fast forward to 2019, he hosted his debut fashion show in New York, securing the Special Prize at the Mainichi Fashion Awards and earning a spot in the prestigious BoF 500 list. The year 2020 saw him clinch one of the LVMH Prize victories. In 2021, he took charge of designing the attire for the national anthem performance at the Tokyo Olympics opening ceremony, adding another Mainichi Fashion Award to his accolades.
Tomo Koizumi Solo Exhibition “Tomo Koizumi”
Venue: YUKIKO MIZUTANI, TERRADA ART COMPLEXⅡ/1F
Duration: December 9, 2023 – February 10, 2024
Closed on Sundays, Mondays, and holidays
*Winter closure: December 26, 2023, to January 8, 2024