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A Curated Oasis in Tokyo

Our editor-in-chief details Prada Mode’s one-of-a-kind weekend of culture and history.

ON A RECENT weekend, I joined Prada in Tokyo for the latest iteration of Prada Mode, a traveling cultural series that has popped up nine times over the past four years. Every one of these two-day events has taken place in a different city, each curated by a crème de la crème artist, director, or otherwise creative talent, from Theaster Gates (London, 2019) to Damien Hirst (Moscow, 2021 and Dubai, 2022). This time, architect (and longtime collaborator of the culture-focused brand) Kazuyo Sejima transformed the extensive grounds of the Tokyo Metropolitan Teien Art Museum into a multidimensional cultural playground. The museum — an art deco masterpiece that is the former home of Prince Asaka, inspired by his time in 1920s France — was open to the public for a weekend of workshops, conversations, traditional tea ceremonies, and music.

In the main garden, a temporary pavilion designed by Ryue Nishizawa, with an arched wood canopy, hosted the conversations, including one on the second day between Sejima and artistic director Yuko Hasegawa about Inujima Island. The small island (population: 47) was transformed in 2008 into an art destination, housing an environmentally sustainable museum, site-specific artworks, and permanent installations that its remaining residents (whose average age is 75) enjoy daily alongside visitors. Later, musician Keiichiro Shibuya played the piano as an android robot called Alter 4, designed by innovator Hiroshi Ishiguro, danced. Nearby, guests, including many families with young children, picnicked; the day before, several had participated in the workshop “Kids Making Hats,” by Kaori Shikichi. How do I know this? Many of the children proudly wore their hats, masterpieces of chunky, messy knitting, as they enjoyed their lunch: bento boxes or pizza from a local restaurant that had brought in a brick oven for the occasion and was cooking each pie as it was ordered. Under the trees, music drifted over from the pavilion and nearby restaurant — it was an oasis from the city, though if you listened closely enough, you could still hear the sounds of urban life underpinning it all.


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Our Contributors

Skye Parrott

Skye Parrott is the editor-in-chief of Departures. A magazine editor, photographer, writer, and creative consultant, she was previously a founder of the arts and culture journal Dossier, and editor-in-chief for the relaunch of Playgirl as a modern, feminist publication.

Hisham Akira Bharoocha Illustrator

Hisham Akira Bharoocha is a multimedia artist based in Brooklyn, NY, working across various mediums including large-scale murals, paintings, drawings, collages, audio/visual installations, and performances. Bharoocha has had solo exhibitions at Snow Contemporary and Ginza Mitsukoshi in Tokyo, D’Amelio Terras in New York, and De Vleeshal in The Netherlands, and has exhibited his work in numerous group shows in North America, Europe, Australia, and Asia. His work has been published in Artforum, NOWNESS, i-D, V, and Flaunt Magazine to name a few.


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