In front of the mirror, I work with the wooden mannequin on which I directly sculpt the dress form by the fabric. The dress has 360 degrees awareness.
Ando’s work is based on a simple proposition : ” Each person has a body.
The body expresses a person’s story and history, the dress is a language the expresses that body , the human body and the dress are both founded on the same principle: constant, unbroken perception “
May all people in the world be content. May they see the lotus spark in all others, and may the light of love shine in our hearts. May all live in harmony.
The Dress as a Sculpture
In my work, a piece of fabric is transformed into a dress through an intense and unbroken engagement with each wave of change in the fabric’s own swell and movement.
The starting point is a flat piece of fabric. Sewing a raised broderie into this flat surface introduces a new three-dimensional note, creating waves of movement and new shapes and swell as the fabric responds.
I make a single cut into the new swell in the fabric. The fabric responds again and
I follow the fabric’s waves of movement intuitively. From action to response, the story of this dress is being written, moment to moment, as each change and response happens.
My hands have to see and grasp the story that the fabric is telling. The fabric takes on a life of its own, with new mandalas flowering in it, one after another.
More complex shapes are created by cross cuts, twists in the fabric, new broderies.
After a long time, my hands become still. The dress is complete: a piece of fabric has become a living mandala.
I work so that different dimensions can flower one by one on the same piece of fabric, just as the petals of a lotus flower open one after another.
Like the cell and the body, we can zoom in to see the micro-mandalas sewn into the detail of the dress, and we can stand back to see the macro-mandala of the whole dress.
A piece of fabric becomes a lotus mandala dress.
The fabric is like the soil in which to sow the seeds of the mandala.
The needle becomes the mandala seed.
Each stitch draws a new world.
Cutting the fabric brings forth a new dimensional space.
New petals open in a new space. A new life opens skyward.
The opening of a new life expresses the mandala consciousness.
I had an intuition in 2020 that there would be dresses to make over my lifetime.When I was little, I read the story of Chūjō-hime (747–775). And I was very impressed.I always remembered that I longed for the process that the lotus thread was pulled out, and when it touched flowers of various colors, the thread was dyed like a dream and the mandala was completed.
Chūjō-hime is credited with weaving the Lotus Thread, Taima Mandala, a mandala depicting the cosmography of the Pure Land. It is said that she managed this miracle in a single night. Some versions of the story say that she was aided in the task by an apparition of the great spiritin response to her prayers. Other beliefs hold that she was herself an incarnation of Kannon. Kannon is the Buddhist bodhisattva associated with compassion, “goddess of mercy”.
At the beginning of creation, lotus flowers born from the swamps of the universe.A world of silence where various lotus mandalas continue to bloom and pray.In the center of the universe, the Creator God will prepare a new world.A world of eternal silence, lotus petals smiling gently like a goddess.Infinite prayers overlap across time and space.
As long as I have my life, how many mandala prayers can I weave?If I can make 48 bodies, I’m sure I dream of opening a new world of Maitreya.Maitreya is a bodhisattva who was promised to become next Buddha.It is said that Maitreya Bodhisattva will appear in the future 5,670 million years after the destruction of Gautama Siddhartha and rescue the humain being.
When I was little, I read the story of Chūjō-hime (747–775). And I was very impressed.I always remembered that I longed for the process that the lotus thread was pulled out, and when it touched flowers of various colors, the thread was dyed like a dream and the mandala was completed.
The Japanese artist and fashion designer Fukuko Ando, who worked and lived in Paris for the past 25 years, created a first series of 140 dolls in crochet during the summer of 2005. Having recently moved back to Japan, she produced a new series of 112 dolls which is now presented for the first time in this exhibition, alongside with a part of the 2005 production, previously shown in Tokyo and Paris. They are 25 variations of the seven sisters of the Greek mythology after which the seven brightest stars forming the Pleiades were named: Alcyone, Merope, Maia, Electra, Taygete, Celaeno, Sterope.
The artist endowed each doll with different codes and messages, based on the concept according to which “no human bodies are the same, and yet we are all essentially united in the cosmic dance of the universe”. Perfecting her technical skills while collaborating with Christian Dior and Christian Lacroix, in Paris, Ando went on to create her own collections. Her work is made out of the finest fabrics and materials, through a long, unique and rigorous manual process. Ando’s dresses reflect her deeply spiritual and mystical vision of life.
The 12 Dresses ensemble refers to the four fundamental forces that govern all interactions in the Universe. Consciously eschewing fashion’s traditional patterns and procedures for confectioning a garment, Fukuko Ando creates dresses that first and foremost respect and follow the shapes of the human body. Skilfully harmonising classical creative techniques with the natural form and movement of the body, she sublimates both. Through her wearable and danceable luminous and colourful visual poems, Ando explores the secret magic of lively matters with which she re-enchants the haute couture, intertwining being and appearing, ancient wisdom and a joyful spontaneous infancy spirit.
The Japanese born designer Fukuko Ando has a very personal vision of fashion and of the creative art of garment design. As her unique process and style have developed over time, Ando has stepped beyond the usual confines of Haute Couture to explore how the pieces she creates may express or manifest different aspects of our cultures, of our relations to nature and of our spiritualities.
With her creative imagination, Ando explores the invisible and energetic dimensions of the matters she uses. Confectioning the dresses directly on wood mannequins surrounded by mirrors, she is intuitively guided to follow a natural and fluid yet sophisticated movement that consists of folds, rays, grooves, veins and ribs, volutes and irregular curves forming a complex global structure. Differing from straight lines, repetitive geometrical patterns and flattened shapes, her dresses are characterized by an organic, ever-changing dynamism. Thus, several heterogeneous effects are produced such as asymmetrical reliefs and protruding volumes, elongated or truncated planes, transparencies, reflections, opacities and openings. A certain play of shadows and shimmering lights is also skilfully produced in order to reveal the quintessence of each piece, visually manifested through singular forms, colours and textures to wear. When one looks at the pieces closely, their poetic vibration can be felt.
Made between 2008 and 2012, the 12 Dresses ensemble explores the tension between stillness, movement and flow, between infinite variation and oneness. In a very innovative and singular way, Fukuko Ando fuses design and haute couture with the art of sculpture, as she elevates the fine materials and garments to symbolic and mysterious apparitions. With a distinctive mystical twist, Ando expresses her deep spirituality through these twelve dresses. Each of them is conceived as a codified message, an in-depth journey from the maze of the atomically tiny to the astronomically vast.
As indicated by their titles, and according to a peculiar syncretism between Kabbalah, Christianity and Shintoism, the whole ensemble contains numerous references ranging from ancient alchemy and esoteric myths about origins, spiritual quests and evolution, to the notion of harmonia mundi, along with the four primary elements and the stages of human life. All dresses are characterised by their richly handmade embroideries, their uniqueness and magnificent vibrational presence.
In the 21st century What can you share? Everything has come to end and has been reborn. Renaissance. I can say with much gratitude and happiness. Now, Only who you are in true. A Phenix, I would like to see you reborn. An open heart, a released body, a freely flying phoenix. Love, New love is growing in you With deeper understanding and stronger senses. You accept everything with a smile on your face. 21st century, I am happy if we can share a much deeper and broader love.