ARLES.- At the invitation of François Hébel, on the occasion of the Rencontres dArles, Hermès presents for the first time in France its third edition of the carré dartiste created by Hiroshi Sugimoto.
Hiroshi Sugimoto is an artist who is constantly exploring the resources of ancestral crafts in order to develop an inventive dialogue between history, traditions and a contemporary mode of expression that is very much at one with Hermès own philosophy. It was this realization that prompted Pierre-Alexis Dumas, artistic director of Hermès, to bring the artists incisive vision into play for this third edition of the artists silk scarf.
In 2010 Sugimoto presented him with his COLORS OF SHADOW project in his studio in Tokyo: I can still remember it very clearly. At the centre of a large, light-filled room, rising like a column from floor to ceiling, there stood a very dense, immaculately clear optical glass prism. This was an experimental device whereby, every morning, the sunlight passing through the prism would create a world of colours, projected like shadows on the white walls of the studio, recalls Pierre-Alexis Dumas.
For some ten years, Sugimoto methodically took Polaroids of these subtly varying gradations, which were different every time. This was the chromatic epiphany that the artist wanted to capture on a Hermès silk scarf.
The work is inspired by the scientific experiments of Newton and Goethe, researching the origins of color that is, breaking down and capturing light, and analyzing its emotional impact on humans. This concrete phenomenon is materialized and elevated by Sugimoto in endless abstract images.
Hiroshi Sugimoto and Pierre-Alexis Dumas selected 20 Polaroids to transpose onto silk: a limited edition comprising 20 scarves, each one produced 7 times; a total of 140 scarves measuring 140 cm x 140 cm.
This is how COLORS OF SHADOW came into being.