Prada presents images created by Thomas Demand for the new window displays for its stores across the world, a radically beautiful and colourful sequence of blossoming cherry trees that celebrates the arrival of spring.
Hanami – which means ‘flower viewing’ – is the centuries-old Japanese art of enjoying the beauty of flowers. The cherry blossom season, a highpoint in the year, marks the end of winter and represents the youth, zest for life and emotion embodied by spring, a truly universal image and a powerful symbol of energy.
Spread seamlessly across the shop’s windows, Demand’s floral images, entitled Blossom, give rise to a vibrant narrative which, inserted into the real world, creates a new dialogue with passers-by in cities around the world.
This work fits perfectly into the German artist’s oeuvre, which has the concept of photography as a global language at its heart. Demand is known for making photographs of three-dimensional models that look like real images of rooms and other spaces, often sites loaded with social and political meanings. He thus describes himself not as a photographer, but as a conceptual artist for whom photography is an intrinsic part of his creative process. Having studied sculpture under Fritz Schwegler at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf alongside Katharina Fritsch and Thomas Schütte, Demand began his career as a sculptor. In 1993, he began to use photography to record his elaborate, life-sized paper-and-cardboard constructions of actually or formerly existing environments and interior spaces, and soon started to create constructions for the sole purpose of photographing them. The photograph he takes of this model with a large-format-camera is the final stage of his work, and it is only this image, most often executed in an edition of six, that is exhibited unframed behind Plexiglas, not the models. On the contrary, Demand destroys his «life-size environments» after he has photographed them.
In this series for Prada, Demand once again rebuilds existing images and replaces them with an artificial version of themselves. In his collaboration with Prada, his work encounters and enters into a fruitful exchange with the world of fashion.
The installations, with a curved or box-shaped illuminated backdrop, are rounded off by steel display stands with a matte pink Perspex surface, or illuminated cylinders with the same floral pattern as the scenery.
Te display can be admired at Prada’s stores in New York, Milan, Paris, London, Tokyo, Singapore, Los Angeles and other selected cities starting this month.
Photos: © Prada – © Thomas Demand