Sometimes a person’s death makes his/her accomplishment more impressive. This was the case for me with Shu Uemura who passed away on December 29, 2007. I used to think he was unusual for his generation of Japanese men and thus needed to leave the country to have more freedom.
This year is the 25th anniversary of Shu Uemura’s flagship store in Omotesando, Tokyo. The news of his death carried me back to 25 years ago when I was a young, cocky sculptor who just had graduated from Tokyo Geidai and was working on the first project to design the interior of Tadao Ando’s new building in Osaka. Around the same period I received an opportunity to design the interior of Shu Uemura’s new flagship store in the most trendy district of Tokyo – I simply declined the offer. I was not interested in what Shu Uemura was doing… or to be more precise, I just couldn’t stand the idea of a guy dealing with makeup at that time.
Now that I am selling fragrances (I sometimes don’t understand why I’m doing it), I can relate to Shu Uemura better. I have to admit that the guy was courageous, and what he has achieved is incomparable.
BLING BLING!! The new Louis Vuitton collection designed by Pharrell Williams in collaboration with Camille Miceli…
Photo © Lizette Kapre
… one of the few art projects we could remember in the past several years.
How about a vacation above the Amazon rainforest in this flying hotel?
(a flying eco-hotel designed by Jean-Marie Massaud)
I must apologize for not reviewing the two new mods sooner. Life has been hectic in more ways than hundred. Perhaps, I have also been reluctant to write about the latest mods, because I can feel the end of the project is near. The Holy Grail can be almost visible (or smellable, heh) on the horizon. And this has been so much fun and so much excitement that…well, can you blame me for not wanting to let it go?
Anyway, the last two mods. I liked them a lot, but not as much as R6/T, one of the two previous mods, the one that I call Gardenia and Leather. When I reviewed R6/T, I asked Clement to make it a little softer, to get rid of some of the leather and to give me more, more, more gardenia. The two new mods show that the scent has indeed become softer. It is still, however, much too heavy on leather for my taste, and I don’t get enough gardenia.
So this time I would like to ask Clement to do just two things: less leather, MORE GARDENIA. heaps and heaps of gardenia, gallons and bushels of it. Basically, as much gardenia as can be possible.
After that, I think, we will be done. *sigh*
Today John Maeda accepted the offer to be the new president of Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), the best art and design school in the US.
I posted my cynical view of New York City in GERMS. I wonder if anyone has noticed that the title of the post responded to the domain name of this web site WHAT WE DO IS SECRET… I thought it would be a good way to punctuate Made by Blog as its entries started to drift away from topics only related to perfume.
Since the entry of GERMS I haven’t responded to the comments. I appreciate all of them and apologize for not having been able to comment back. Anyhow, here are my thoughts on some of the comments given to the previous few posts.
Sarah G’s comment on GERMS has been stuck in my head… “I think that while the city may have a clean face, there are dark and dangerous forces at work within it, and within American society at large. It is our responsibility as artists to respond to them. And that is where NYC’s next artistic jolt will come from.” I don’t think any artist will disagree with what she wrote there. My only question is how many artists would be able to face the challenge…
In GERMS, Treazurekitten also left a quote from Picasso, “Art is a lie that makes us realize truth.” It’s actually one of my favorite quotes from the artist. In a way it was funny to hear Philippe Starck say “I think my job is absolutely useless …. I feel like shit…” in the video I posted recently. I’ve always believed that a truly creative and original artist will have the feeling of creating an absolutely useless garbage, and yet feels completely content with his life.
Octavian’s comment immediately reminded me of a Japanese food called Natto (fermented soy beans) which used to smell much stronger when I was a kid. Perhaps our modern society has been trying to kill all the unique smells on earth, and Natto was just another victim of this plot.
There was a brief comment from Estetik in an older post BRANDING THE FUTURE: “Olfactive branding is not really enough to achieve the goals.” Well, I think it depends on what the ‘goals’ are for the companies, and although olfactive branding may not bring immediate cash to the companies it will add a new dimension to their images for people who still have decent olfaction.
Yukiko asked about the locations shown in the 4 images posted on Dec 2. The top image in the entry is the interior of Azzedine Alaia Boutique in Paris. The second and third are Hotel Puerta America in Madrid. The last on is MHT (a jewelry store) in Tokyo. Yukiko-san, I don’t know if you live near Tokyo, but here is the address of MHT: 3-7-3 Kita-Aoyama, Minato-ku, Tokyo. I haven’t visited this store in Tokyo, but Marc Newson had lived in Japan for a while and he seems to understand what works well in Japan.