PERFUME stage an exhibition of tour and video outfits for UK fans…
For an outfit such as PERFUME, it’s quite rare to be able to explore the elements that make the group work and assess it outside of the context of their record releases and tours.
The recent documentary WE ARE Perfume offered up one such window into the workings of the technopop trio, but now J-pop fans have opportunity to look at the design aesthetics of the group’s video and tour outfits – alongside other memorabilia – care of the Perfume Gallery Experience which takes place in London this weekend.
At this point it’s probably worth noting that putting together an exhibition for a group is one thing. Curating it in a fashion that manages to appeal to both the diehard fan as well as anyone with an interest in art and culture is quite another. Most of the exhibits on display offer up notes and stories on their creation and use, which reveals a little about the creative processes behind the scenes.
Perfume: A Gallery Experience – Supported by Rhizomatiks (to give the show its full title) presents a surprisingly extensive collection of outfits worn by a-chan, KASHIYUKA and NOCCHi on stage and in music videos. Included in the displays are the dresses worn by the trio for 2008’s ‘love the world’ video. Originally conceived as black and white outfits, the actual dresses were surprisingly created using a very striking red.
Meanwhile, the visually stunning LED dresses employed for the ‘Spring of Life’ video also take centre stage at the exhibition – and light up in sequence while the 2012 tune is played on rotation as part of the show. The dresses, engineered by globally renowned multimedia design group Rhizomatiks, demonstrate a combination of technology and clothing that’s become a hallmark of Perfume in recent years. Their use of synchronized LED lighting and projection mapping made their 2015 SXSW performance one of the most talked about shows at the event.
Also included in the display are the specially-designed shoes that Perfume wear for stage performances as well as a chronological series of promo posters, archive CDs, publications and video displays. A special video message from the members of Perfume is also available.
But the exhibition is also a treat for the Perfume fan wanting to expand their collection with some choice merchandise items up for grabs (including items normally inaccessible for UK fans). The exhibition coincides with the vinyl release of the COSMIC EXPLORER album (a strong release which J-Pop Go stated in its review that “Perfume are playing to their strengths, while not being afraid to mix up their musical palette”). But CD copies of the likes of COSMIC EXPLORER and LEVEL3 are also available. Likewise, Blu-Ray copies of the newly released WE ARE Perfume are available (complete with English subtitles).
A range of T-Shirts are also on hand, but added into the mix are some of the tour publications that ooze style and would look quite fetching on your coffee table of choice, including the photobooks for the 4th Tour and LIVE@Tokyo Dome (visitors please note though that the gallery staff can only accept cash payments for all the available merchandise).
While this exhibition is perhaps a poor substitute for a return live bout in the UK for Perfume, it’s a sign that the outfit are willing to stage something interesting and unexpected to reach out to fans. Anyone worried that Perfume may be giving up on the UK altogether for live shows should also be reassured that talk of the trio returning to these shores in the near future are in progress.
Perfume: A Gallery Experience – Supported by Rhizomatiks runs at Old Truman Brewery Shop 7 in Shoreditch, London, on 6th and 7th August (10am to 7pm). The exhibition takes to the US on 3rd/4th September at Pure Space in New York.
Tickets are £5 and are available from https://www.facebook.com/events/163660454047570/ (Advance ticket holders will receive an exclusive free collectors’ postcard upon entry).
COSMIC EXPLORER is also available via Wrasse Records.
J-Pop Go extends its thanks to Daniel Robson and the staff at Perfume: A Gallery Experience.