Wataru Tominaga

April 13 - May 25, 2019



Contemporary Art Daily, May 24, 2019
Bijutsu TechoApril 27, 2019




A fashion and textile designer, also trained in fine art, Wataru Tominaga builds his distinctive textiles atop readymade fabrics which have universal, genderless motifs; paisleys, florals, plaids and ginghams. The artist manipulates these materials through twisting, pleating and stitching the fabrics before he adds a top layer of graphic information of cut vinyl. This top layer, often minimal rugby stripes or argyle, when untwisted, cracks to reveal the under-layer which is often a maximal pattern. The artist, who considers gender issues, mixes these patterns which have varying associations to masculinity, femininity and gender fluidity. One look by Tominaga may employ several examples of his mixed handmade textiles, challenging the quick comprehension we are accustomed to with most ready-to-wear clothing. Notable also for their vibrant colors, these garments are formed of rectangles with elastic to create body-defying volumes. Tominaga’s unisex garments reference Japan’s traditional kimono while simultaneously providing an update on the Japanese avant-garde fashions of recent decades.


Wataru Tominaga was born in 1988 in Kumamoto, Japan, and currently lives and works in Kanagawa. Tominaga’s extensive educational background includes Chelsea College of Art, MA Fine Art (2016); Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design, BA Fashion Print (2015); Bunka Fashion College, Tokyo (2011), University of Art and Design Helsinki (student exchange program, 2009); Musashino Art University, BA Department of Industrial, Interior and Craft Design, Textile pathway (2010). Following completion of his studies, Tominaga won The Grand Jury Première Vision Prize at The 31st International Festival of Fashion and Photography in Hyères (2016) and was the artist in residency at Palais de Tokyo, Le Pavillon Neuflize OBC, Paris from 2016 – 2017. Most recently, he was named to the Forbes 30 Under 30 – Asia – The Arts 2018 list.

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