Architect Noritaka Tange and interior designer Yasumichi Morita worked on the renewal of Isetan Shinjuku under the theme “Fashion Musuem.” The store will operate under a concept of “the fusion of fashion and art.” Creative Director Shigeo Goto was in charge of the concept work around the advertisement campaigns for the new fashion museum= art museum.

Mr. Goto created a paper and web based media named “INTO THE FUTURE,” which predict the future of Isetan Shinjuku after its renewal. He created the main visuals of the store featuring fashion model Mona as a muse. He also handled the editing of visual book “Future Curation,” depicting the world view of the fashion museum, which was published on the same day as the grand opening of Isetan Shinjuku.

What was the aim behind the publication of “Future Curation?”

We wanted the world to know that Isetan, a department store located in Tokyo was using art fusion as one of its main store concepts.

Currently, there are numerous maisons that feature artists to fuse art and raise the value of their branding. As for Isetan to do similar to that, it is to consider what to suggest to the customers and what sorts of platforms to present for them, and the answers are in this book.

What are the book contents?

The book begins with interviews of Yohji Yamamoto, curator Beatrix Ruf, graphic designers unit ABAKE and others regarding art fusion followed by photos of Kohei Nawa artworks taken by Kishin Shinoyama fused with images of top maison clothes such as Christian Dior and Saint Laurent.

The book also features messages related to art fusion from 51 people pertaining to the fashion and art world. The opinions of fashion designers, directors, curators, artists and others can be well understood.

The finished book will be sent to those that contributed to the content. For example, to overseas participants such as Olivier Zahm, Christian Louboutin, Ai Weiwei, and Theseus Chan. With this book, we will be able to tell people leading a cutting-edge life that Isetan is suggesting and presenting platforms for art fusion. Those who wonder what in the world Isetan is trying to do will figure it out by taking a look at the fascinating cover with gold leaf and codex style (without a spine).

Please provide us with your thoughts on art fusion.

For example, it is becoming pretty normal for contemporary artists to collaborate with fashion maisons such as English artist Ryan Gander collaborating with Hermes to design the signature scarves, and Yayoi Kusama collaborating with Louis Vuitton. Within the art world today, it is considered cool and an honor to collaborate with fashion brands. Art fusing with retail signifies the progression of art itself. Beatrix Ruf, director of the museum Kunsthalle Zurich along with other top curators of the world are favorable to this new trend.

Another aim of this book is to have people in the art and fashion industry refer to this as a guide when considering art fusion in the future. By distributing the book around the world, we are sending a message across to say that art fusion will become the new trend. It can also be referred to as a prediction of what happens next.

The word “curation,” also seen in the title of the book is recently used outside the art world such as on the internet. What are your views on concepts such as “curation website?”

I think that the definition of curation today means editing elements from both the virtual and real entities. Right now, the information coming through virtually is very large in amount, which is why the roles of selectors, editors and recommenders are becoming increasingly important. The people playing these roles must lead honorable lifestyles, otherwise they will not be respected. Self-branding is crucial nowadays.

Bloggers are similar to curators. They pick up foods that they ate and items that they bought in stores and feature them as articles on their blogs. Then some of the readers want to go out and experience the same thing. The world of the blog then becomes media. People today do not just want to spend money. They want to spend on things that are valuable. They will only spend on what they see as appropriate, not extravagant. One of the roles of curators is to guide them in the right direction.

I think it would be interesting if Isetan featured top bloggers and asked them to create a curation website. Then, the internet becomes a window display. If such a structure is successfully launched, it will change the dynamics of retail.

What is the meaning behind incorporating art into commercial spaces?

Art has a duality where it can serve towards world peace or become a destructive weapon. So fusing art does not mean that all the pieces fit together perfectly. But I do see a great deal of potential in this. Incorporating such a dangerous tool is what makes this new branding so fresh and daring. The book explains Isetan’s approach and views which will make it easier for the store to carry out their new business strategies.

On Mar 6, the window displays were decorated with artworks of Kohei Nawa combined with clothes from top fashion maisons. This is one goal which we achieved. A victory of editing. Advertisements do not directly lead to sales but it is an essential factor of branding. I am grateful to have been appointed by the women’s apparel and advertisement teams.