my-dear-bomb

I exist here, now. I’m not much interested in the future. Or, more precisely put, I do not believe in the future. To exaggerate a little, I have no faith that I will still exist tomorrow or the day after. What is more, I absolutely detest retrospection. That dislike is balances only by my desire to make my way back home as quickly as possible.
—  Yohji Yamamoto, My dear bomb

Yohji Yamamoto - My Dear Bomb

“I exist here, now. I’m not much interested in the future. Or, more precisely put, I do not believe in the future. To exaggerate a little, I have no faith that I will still exist tomorrow or the day after. What is more, I absolutely detest retrospection. That dislike is balanced only by my desire to make my way back home as quickly as possible

I exist here, now. I’m not much interested in the future. Or, more precisely put, I do not believe in the future. To exaggerate a little, I have no faith that I will still exist tomorrow or the day after. What is more, I absolutely detest retrospection. That dislike is balances only by my desire to make my way back home as quickly as possible.
—  Yohji Yamamoto, My Dear Bomb
To rebel against the world’s various authorities, systems and regimes is to assume consistently the position of a minority. Somewhere along the line my sympathies were drawn to these minorities, those people on the side of resistance. These marginalised individuals did not choose the conditions into which they were born; they live trapped in the most basic human inequities and they face injustices that cannot be rationalised. When we forget that these conditions exist, we will be unable to touch people’s souls. People will remain unmoved.
—  Yohji Yamamoto

I recently bought My Dear Bomb by Yohji Yamamoto. It’s the first book I’ve bought in a long time, in fact, other than assigned reading that I never actually read, it’s the only book I’ve read in probably six or seven years. After a long bout with some serious depression, grappling with the still-creeping question of a place in this world, and with confusion over self-worth, I think this book helped me come out of it. I’ve always liked clothing, and I’ve always liked aesthetics, but I’ve always liked them only to the point where they did not inhibit me. Of course I have different clothing for different applications and levels of activity, but I never wanted to be restricted by what I wore. It’s one of the reasons I stopped designing jewelry. My heart just wasn’t in it. Though I doubt that I’ll venture into the world of fashion design, I’ve been very intrigued my Yohji for a couple years now. Picking up images of his clothing on various websites, along with various popular quotes of him, I grew interested in what he was doing.

I always hope the people behind the art I absorb are like their art in some way, because when I can feel a piece of art, music, clothing, or whatever, I feel akin to it. It is an ethereal representation of an idea, of some feeling, something huge or something small floating in an intangible space between what I understand about the medium, and the artist’s vision. Yohji is definitely like his work. He is gruff, but kind and tender hearted. He puts on airs of villainy and calls himself a “nasty" man, and much like his clothing, the armor he designs, he shields himself in many ways. He is very honest about who he is, when he speaks of where he comes from and how he views the world. His dissonance with the world around him drives him to create the clothing he makes. The thoughtfully novel, light hearted elements of his clothing that ring of playfulness and beg to be worn are paired seamlessly with the veiled, but incredibly important classic discipline that forms the foundation for each piece he creates. His clothing scoffs at modernism and convenience, at the fussy rat-race, as it pulls from traditional elements and brings them into a timeless form that has inspired awe and disgust in people.

Yohji is just a man, he is very honest about this in this book. He speaks of his love for his craft, and of his disdain for it. He talks about the entire decade he lost to his work before his career took flight. It was amazing to hear that a man who works as hard as he, and is so good at what he does, still hates half of what he makes. Though the format of the book is a little jumpy, it reads like butter.

I’ll definitely be reading it again, and you should too.

as life goes on and one grows older, repeatedly there arise situations that one cannot handle according to the principles of life that one decided on in one’s youth. in my case, those principles included the decision to leave the main thoroughfare and tread instead the side roads of life as well as to accept the unspoken agreement to leave others alone in exchange for being granted my own independence. i decided to live my life according to those principles, and i have always thought that i would do in life what needed to be done, and that would be it. i continue to believe those things today.
—  Yohji Yamamoto My Dear Bomb 
Yohji Yamamoto My Dear Bomb

A lovely, poetic, insightful read.
Many quotable areas, but here I’m sharing something quite unforgettable and attune to my personal philosophy:

“A musician may claim: ‘Music is a matter of sensibilities.’ However, in order to be widely recognized, he must spend years, perhaps decades, as an unknown while he polishes his craft. It is the same for a fashion designer, who must fully absorb the most basic techniques if he is to make anything of himself. After all, even a dog requires training.
There absolutely must be a period in which the basics are drilled into the aspiring artist. In time there will come a moment when the values established by the glorious giants who have come before suddenly appear riddled with contradictios.
One would be well served by struggling with those contradictions.
If one struggles with the basics and plods steadily, painfully, forward, at some point one will discover amode of judgment and a battle strategy that is entirely one’s own.
Endless repetition and study of the classics. After that one may topple the establishment. It is the same as waging war. One must study intensively just as a warrior researches the strengths and weaknesses of the enemy in order to win in battle. Without that preparation, victory will elude one. Without that preparation, a personal vision will remain forever beyond one’s grasp.”

The Classics Stand the Test of Time

This is exactly it. Also explains why I have been drawn to his designs even before I actually knew who he was or began appreciating them.

As a creative, I believe this is the calling I hear. That desire to bring out that which is formless and hidden.

It’s also why I love the work of other artists like David Lynch or Beethoven or Haruki Murakami or Taiyo Matsumoto amongst others.

They are channeling that spirit. Even if only a little bit.

Image is a page gotten from “My Dear Bomb” by Yohji Yamamoto & Ai Mitsuda