Kyosai Kawanabe “Bird and Beast Caricatures” tribute by Ground Y

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Limited edition collection featuring “Bird and Beast” by Bakumatsu (the late Edo era) artist, Kyosai Kawanabe, to be released Wednesday, April 14th.
Through the filter or Yohji Yamamoto, the ”Ground Y” brand creates new possibilities in fashion with a "genderless" and "ageless" style, while incorporating versatile elements that sync with this specific concept. Ground Y, a brand that proposes new possibilities in fashion, will present a limited collection using paintings by “Kyosai Kawanabe," who was an active artist from the end of the Edo period up until the Meiji period, and is known for his wide range of artistry. The collection will be available at the following Ground Y stores: GINZA SIX/Laforet Harajuku/Shibuya Parco/Shinsaibashi Parco, and on the official online store <THE SHOP YOHJI YAMAMOTO> beginning April 14th (Wed).

 *Accessible from Wednesday, April 14th, 12:00 JST.
Kyosai Kawanabei, was a painter who was also called “the demon of painting“ and it was said that “nothings escaped his brush.” He left behind a variety of caricatures that reflect his rebellious spirit, and his work is still very popular now, even 130 years after his death.
Since 1981, Ground Y has been on the frontlines of the Paris Collections, expressing itself by confronting the taboo of wearing “black.” The spirit of Ground Y inherits Yohji Yamamoto’s creative DNA, which consists of his advocations of the anthesis of mode fashion and has managed to travel through time to create a fusion between this “rebellion” and the genius work of “the demon of painting”, Kyosai Kawanabei. The world's first such initiative was launched in 2020, and received very positive feedback.
For this season's collection, which is the second of the series, selected paintings focusing on "Bird and Beast Caricatures " drawn by Kyosai Kawanabe, will be boldly expressed on the canvases of Ground Y's clothing. Ground Y is a brand which inherits the creative DNA of Yohji Yamamoto himself. Additionally, some of the popular patterned shirts that sold out immediately after the first launch will also be resold. This includes items designed with paintings by Kyosui Kawanabe, the daughter of Kyosai Kawanabe.

Tina Tamashiro and Shuntaro Yanagi, who are both active actors/models, will be the key models for this collection. A special video featuring them will be released on our official YouTube channel.

Official Youtube Special Movie

Details of works used

“Bird and Beast Caricatures Nekomata(Cat Monster) and Raccoon: Draft”
There is a cat-like monster in red with 2 tails called a Nekomata. To the left of the Nekomata is a raccoon, a weasel, and a mole, all of which are said to be deceitful, dancing in a circle on two legs.The completed version of this painting has not been found, but unlike other drafts, it was so richly colored that the golden eyes of the cat were said to have been shining when it was discovered, forty years ago.

“Bird and Beast Caricatures Festival Walk of the Owl and Raccoon”
This rough sketch shows a raccoon riding a fox, led by an owl wearing an eboshi hat, parading with frogs. Like the “Bird and Beast Caricatures: Nekomata and Raccoon Draft”, it is believed to be expressing an animal specter, but the actual details are unknown.

“Theory of the Imported Tiger and Leopard”
A multi-colored woodblock painting with a tiger on the right and a leopard on the left. At the time, the distinction between tigers and leopards was unclear, and many theories existed. One theory was that a female tiger was a leopard. In a book of lyrics by the caricaturist  Robun Kanagaki, he explains the difference between the two based on his knowledge, citing the "Honzo Koumoku" (book of plants and animals) saying that leopards have spots on their fur.

”Women's Group Portrait: Draft”
This sketch shows young women relaxing. The women have a wide variety of hairstyles, varying from "lower hair" to "karawamage," "kamuro" to "hyogomage," and are also wearing wide variety of costumes, from "upper body" to "kosode" to "ohurisode." This shows that women of different periods and classes were expressed in his work from the Middle Ages to the late Edo period. Many are hoping to find the completed version of this draft.

”Ghost Figure: Draft”
A draft of the painting "Ghosts" by Kyosai, owned by the National Museum of Ethnology in Leiden, Netherlands. The finished piece was painted for the English architect Josiah Conder, who became an apprentice of Kyosai’s in order to study Japanese painting. The finished piece is terrifying since it is almost like a "trompe l'oeil", and the ghost looks as though it is slipping out of the painting, but the draft, which consists of only one ghost, has no trace of humor whatsoever, and gives off a sense of dreadfulness.

“Taiheikaika Ayatsuri Sugoroku”
A multi-colored woodblock painting of the so-called "Success Sugoroku". It starts with "entering elementary school." The right half of the painting shows the career path of a person who, after completing their education, become a government official and are promoted. They then moves to the West and rise up. The left half of the painting is lined with things such as "heavy drinking", "sleeping in the morning" and other squares that most likely lead to corruption, but it seems that it is possible to rise up by "changing your ways".

”Kyosui Beauty 12 Month Calendar” February, May, October
This is a calendar from 1911, featuring paintings of beautiful women by Kyosui, the daughter of Kyosai Kawanabe.  The company name, Kawamata Kenpu Seiren Co., Ltd. is written in English, which indicates that it was intended as an advertisement for overseas markets. The original of this calendar is actually a Nishiki painting.


[Kyosai Kawanabe]
Kyosai Kawanabe (April 7, 1831 - April 26, 1889) was an active artist whose artistry was wide ranged, in a variety of styles and areas. He studied in various schools of art from the end of the Edo period to the Meiji period. At an early age, his teacher Towa Maemura called him the "painting demon. He was active not only as a Kano style painter, but also in many other art styles. At age 33, he gained popularity with his proverbial series "Kyosai Hyakuzu," and at the age of 51, his "Kare-ki Kanarasu" won the highest award, "2nd Prize For Virtuosity" at the 2nd National Industrial Exhibition. He became famous when his art was purchased at the then high price of 100 yen.
He is also famous for having had British architect, Josiah Conder as his apprentice.
He is the pride of Japan and has many enthusiastic collectors around the world.

[Kyosui Kawanabe]
Kyosui Kawanabe (December 10, 1869 - May 7, 1935) was the daughter of Kyosai Kawanabe. She began studying painting at an early age and participated in many exhibitions. She lost her father when she was 22. At age 24, she exhibited her painting "Poem of Falling Flowers" at the Japan Art Association's Art Exhibition and received 2nd prize. The coloring of her painting was highly evaluated. She was a teacher at the Joshibi Art School (known today as the Joshibi University of Art and Design) in the late 1890's.
Tribute by Ground Y to Kyosai Kawanabe “Bird and Beast Caricatures”

■Shops in Japan

Ground Y Shops (GINZA SIX/La Foret Harajuku/Shibuya Parco/Shinsaibashi Parco)
Official Online Store「 THE SHOP YOHJI YAMAMOTO 

■Launch Date

Wed 14th April 2021
*Available from 12:00 JST
*Available from 12:00 JST

■Price(Tax excl.)

T-Shirt USD 336 〜 USD 384
Hoodie USD 384
Shirts USD 360 〜 USD 816

All Items Unisex
Free Size

■ Shop INFO

Ground Y GINZA SIX                          
〒104-0061 Tokyo, Chuo-ku, Ginza 6-10-1 4F
TEL 03-6264-5165

Ground Y LA FORET HARAJUKU                
〒150-0001 Tokyo, Shibuya-ku, Jingumae 1-11-6 1F 
TEL 03-6455-5277

Ground Y SHIBUYA PARCO                 
〒153-8377 Tokyo, Shibuya-ku,Udagawa-cho 15-1 2F 
TEL 03-6427-8984

〒542-0085 Osaka-fu, Osaka, Chuo-ku, Shinsaibashisuji 1-8-3 Shinsaibashi PARCO 1F
TEL 06-6125-5607

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YOHJI YAMAMOTO>Kyosai Kawanabe "Bird and Beast" Tribute by Ground Y

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