Tokyo based creative Asami Nemoto was always drawn to the idea of creating art using hair. At 26 she quit her hairdressing job to begin assisting renowned hairstylist Shinji Konishi. Known for his elaborate animal-shaped headpieces favoured by Lady Gaga, Nemoto was hugely inspired by his sculptural approach to hair. “He was the best boss,” she says, “meeting him completely changed my life”. After nearly three years assisting Konishi, Nemoto felt confident enough to strike out on her own, becoming a session hair and make-up artist with clients including actress/comedian Naomi Watanabe and pop band Sakanaction.

Alongside her session work, Nemoto is part of Japanese art collective Night Fishing (NF). Led by Sakanaction frontman Ichiro Yamaguchi, Night Fishing consists of creative individuals who collaborate on projects across the worlds of art, design and music.

Asami Nemoto at Pavilion
©︎2017 Vivi August Issue /  Photo: Hiroshi Manaka / Art Director: Yuni Yoshida / Model: Naomi Watanabe
©︎2017 Vivi August Issue / Photo: Hiroshi Manaka / Art Director: Yuni Yoshida / Model: Naomi Watanabe
©︎yoshida Yuni Design Girly Graphics / Photo: Muga Miyahara / Art Director: Yuni Yoshida

We met Nemoto at Pavilion, a contemporary arts hub and restaurant situated underneath the railway tracks of Nakameguro station. Pavilion invited Night Fishing to create a permanent site-specific installation for their outside space. Consisting of a long, narrow corridor directly beneath the railway tracks, every three minutes brings the sound of trains rumbling overhead.

The multi-sensory installation, created by Nemoto, consists of a line of identical glass lanterns, each covered in a thin layer of white hair. As you move through the space, they illuminate and change colour, graduating from pink, to purple and orange. Viewed in darkness, they seem to glow like jellyfish, enhanced by the sinewy effect of the illuminated hair. Responsive to sound, the lanterns pulsate and flicker every time a train clatters overhead. Nemoto explains that the concept was based around transforming this everyday noise into something beautiful. “Normally, the noise of a train is considered sound pollution,” she says, “but walking through this corridor you want to wait for the train. Something you would usually recognise as noise becomes something you look forward to.”

“I really enjoy making pieces like this, it requires such focus and concentration. It’s a completely different skill to session work”
Asami Nemoto

Watch video HERE


Photography Panos Damaskinidis, Hiroshi Manaka, Muga Miyahara
Video Antonio Celotto
Interview Emma de Clercq, Gen Itoh
Words Emma de Clercq
Special Thanks Asami Nemoto, Pavilion

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