Hiroshi Sugimoto designs Hermes scarves

In 2008 Hermès edited its first “carré d’artiste”, Hommage au carré by Josef Albers followed by a second in 2010, Photos-souvenirs au carré by Daniel Buren. This year, the french label invited the Japanese artist Hiroshi Sugimoto to create the third edition, which was presented at Basel in June. It'd be great if you could join us, if you're headed up for Basel.

Hermès’ first collaboration with the artist dates back to 2003 and the exhibition History of History in the Forum space of the Maison Hermès in Ginza, Tokyo.

The Japanese artist constantly explores the resources of ancestral crafts in order to develop an inventive dialogue between history, traditions and a contemporary mode of expression. It was this realisation that prompted Pierre-Alexis Dumas, artistic director of Hermès, to bring the artist’s vision into play for this third edition of the artist’s silk square.

In 2010 Sugimoto presented him with his COLORS OF SHADOW project in his studio in Tokyo.

For some ten years, Sugimoto methodically took Polaroids of these subtly varying gradations which were different every time. This was the chromatic epiphany that the artist wanted to capture on a Hermès silk scarf. The work is inspired by the scientific experiments of Newton and Goethe, researching the origins of colour – that is, breaking down and capturing light, and analysing its emotional impact on humans. This concrete phenomenon is materialised and elevated by Sugimoto in endless abstract images.

Hiroshi Sugimoto and Pierre-Alexis Dumas selected 20 Polaroids to transpose onto silk: 20 scarves each in a limited edition of 7: a total of 140 scarves measuring 140 cm x 140 cm.