Fashion

EXCLUSIVE: Japanese Artist Tomihiro Kono Reveals New Book and Exhibition "Fancy Creatures"

The creative talks to Hypebae about being inspired by the everlasting desire for human metamorphosis.

By
2,180 Hypes

EXCLUSIVE: Japanese Artist Tomihiro Kono Reveals New Book and Exhibition "Fancy Creatures"

The creative talks to Hypebae about being inspired by the everlasting desire for human metamorphosis.

Japanese hair artist Tomihiro Kono has an undisputably striking and characteristic style. You’ve probably seen his playful creations on the likes of Björk and Grimes, as well as taking over Junya Watanabe and COMME des GARÇONS’ runways. After exploring hair artistry for over two decades, Kono has become the industry’s favorite hair whiz. Through his distinctive and evocative style, the now-New York-based hair stylist has gained a reputation for creating otherworldly worlds that sway the mind.

Kono’s irreverent creations invite you on a transformational journey and prove that maximalism is no longer a fashion faux pas. By finding beauty in imperfection, like the Japanese motif of wabi-sabi, his work never fails to exalt beauty through a rich subcultural spectrum — full of pastel Kawaii hints and edgy cyberpunk references. His nuanced view of physicality has proved to possess the power of transforming humans into hybrid creatures.

In April 2017, Kono released HEAD PROP Studies, 2013-2016, a book immortalizing his early work as a head prop designer and sharing the craft behind his creations through personal photographs, sketches and photo grids. Three years later, the creative released “Personas 111 – The Art of Wig Making,” which explored the power of transformation by documenting one model in 111 different wigs. Kono is now returning with his third book, “Fancy Creatures,” showcasing his most recent inventive wig series, designed between 2020 and 2022.

tomihiro kono hair beauty books exhibitions fancy creatures release bjork comme des garçons björk

“Fancy Creatures” goes beyond the architecture of hair artistry or the beauty of form; this time, Kono explores the relationship between humans and the organism of planet Earth. Inspired by the magical materiality of deep sea creatures, furry moss and even endangered moths, the Japanese wig maker finds unforeseen beauty in things that are often considered ugly. “Fancy Creatures” delivers a visual vitality that follows Kono’s avant-garde vision, exploring the unique power and intimacy of human hair, as an ancient but contemporary, familiar yet eery, desirable yet uncertain element.

For Tomihiro, “it’s through imagination and creation that fulfill our everlasting human desire to metamorphose, to transform our earthly bodies into something else. We hope you, the reader, will enjoy our vision of human’s new metamorphosis.” To mark the occasion, the creative is hosting an exhibition in Hong Kong at Current Plans gallery starting in mid-January 2023. As for “Fancy Creatures,” we might need to wait a little longer, as the book’s official release date is yet to be announced.

Hypebae had the chance to speak with Tomihiro Kono to learn more about his upcoming book and exhibition, sources of inspiration and what’s next for his career.

Keep scrolling to read our exclusive interview.

tomihiro kono hair beauty books exhibitions fancy creatures release bjork comme des garçons björk

You have such a distinctive and nuanced aesthetic. What is your biggest inspiration?

Nature.

How did your upbringing influence the artist you are today?

I grew up in the countryside, by the mountains and the sea. My parents didn’t give me any toys as a kid, so I often made up my own games. Maybe that is the reason why my mind is constantly full of ideas and I always find inspiration in nature.

Your wigs often cover your models’ faces. What is so fascinating about not revealing human features?

I always seek to spotlight the purity of my wigs. I perceive my models’ faces as plain canvases. I find human faces to have so much information and a very clear identity, which is why I prefer to not reveal them and explore the notion of transformation.

tomihiro kono hair beauty books exhibitions fancy creatures release bjork comme des garçons björk

What do you want people to feel when they wear your wigs?

I want people to feel the excitement of instant transformation.

Who or what is your muse?

Björk.

tomihiro kono hair beauty books exhibitions fancy creatures release bjork comme des garçons björk

Tell me more about your new book and exhibition coming up in Hong Kong.

It is my third book and I’ve built it by working with my partner Sayaka Maruyama.

What is next for you?

I’d like to start doing exhibitions worldwide and keep on documenting my work through books.

tomihiro kono hair beauty books exhibitions fancy creatures release bjork comme des garçons björk

Read Full Article
Photographer
Sayaka Maruyama
Hair Stylist
Tomihiro Kono
Art Direction
Konomad
Model
@i_am_yunn, @hinainoue_._
Share this article

What to Read Next

EXCLUSIVE: R&B Artist Bellah on Her New EP and the Power of Collaboration
Music

EXCLUSIVE: R&B Artist Bellah on Her New EP and the Power of Collaboration

“For a scene to actually be created, we will need to coexist. I think the idea of ‘there can only be one’ is killing people.”
1,735 Hypes

EXCLUSIVE: Content Creator Tefi Pessoa on Celebrating Hispanic/Latine Culture and What Identity Means to Her
Beauty

EXCLUSIVE: Content Creator Tefi Pessoa on Celebrating Hispanic/Latine Culture and What Identity Means to Her

The multi-hyphenate creative drops gems on food, culture and music.
2,829 Hypes

Best Music of July: Steve Lacy, Beyoncé, BLACKPINK and More
Music 

Best Music of July: Steve Lacy, Beyoncé, BLACKPINK and More

A compilation of dance, pop, hip-hop and R&B-filled tracks.
38,756 Hypes


Welcome to Terminal G: Look Inside Glossier’s New Washington, DC Location
Beauty

Welcome to Terminal G: Look Inside Glossier’s New Washington, DC Location

The brand invades D.C.’s Georgetown neighborhood for the long-haul.
3,257 Hypes

Harry Styles’ Pleasing Pop-Ups Return for Christmas
Beauty

Harry Styles’ Pleasing Pop-Ups Return for Christmas

In London, New York and Los Angeles.
18,354 Hypes

These Are Alessandro Michele's Best Gucci Moments
Fashion

These Are Alessandro Michele's Best Gucci Moments

We remember our favorite collections and items from the creative director’s time at the Italian house.
3,534 Hypes

Trend Spotlight: Leather Motocross Jackets Are Going Nowhere Fast
Fashion

Trend Spotlight: Leather Motocross Jackets Are Going Nowhere Fast

As seen on Hailey Bieber, Dua Lipa and Bella Hadid.
4,381 Hypes

The End Lingerie Releases The Mixtape Collection
Fashion 

The End Lingerie Releases The Mixtape Collection

As a love letter to the brand’s cult following.
1,938 Hypes

'You' Season 4 Is Releasing Earlier Than Expected
Film & TV

'You' Season 4 Is Releasing Earlier Than Expected

Joe Goldberg heads to London for the new installment.
8,112 Hypes


The Fuzzy Cactus Plant Flea Market x Nike Dunk Low Finally Has a Release Date
Footwear

The Fuzzy Cactus Plant Flea Market x Nike Dunk Low Finally Has a Release Date

Here’s when and where you can cop these Grinch-inspired kicks.
9,051 Hypes

Here's Your First Look at the Stone Island x New Balance 574 Collab
Footwear

Here's Your First Look at the Stone Island x New Balance 574 Collab

Dressed in olive green hues.
6,644 Hypes

'Love Is Blind' Star SK Says He Was "Falsely Misrepresented"
Entertainment

'Love Is Blind' Star SK Says He Was "Falsely Misrepresented"

The reality star is “pursuing legal action” against the women who have accused him of cheating on Raven.
116,808 Hypes


More ▾
 
Subscribe to our Newsletter

Keep updated on the latest news.

By subscribing, you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

Looks like you’re using an ad-blocker

We charge advertisers instead of our readers. Support us by whitelisting our site.

Whitelist Us

How to Whitelist Us

screenshot
  1. Click the AdBlock icon in the browser extension area in the upper right-hand corner.
  2. Under “Pause on this site” click “Always”.
  3. Refresh the page or click the button below to continue.
screenshot
  1. Click the AdBlock Plus icon in the browser extension area in the upper right-hand corner.
  2. Block ads on – This website” switch off the toggle to turn it from blue to gray.
  3. Refresh the page or click the button below to continue.
screenshot
  1. Click the AdBlocker Ultimate icon in the browser extension area in the upper right-hand corner.
  2. Switch off the toggle to turn it from “Enabled on this site” to “Disabled on this site”.
  3. Refresh the page or click the button below to continue.
screenshot
  1. Click the Ghostery icon in the browser extension area in the upper right-hand corner.
  2. Click on the “Ad-Blocking” button at the bottom. It will turn gray and the text above will go from “ON” to “OFF”.
  3. Refresh the page or click the button below to continue.
screenshot
  1. Click the UBlock Origin icon in the browser extension area in the upper right-hand corner.
  2. Click on the large blue power icon at the top.
  3. When it turns gray, click the refresh icon that has appeared next to it or click the button below to continue.
screenshot
  1. Click the icon of the ad-blocker extension installed on your browser.You’ll usually find this icon in the upper right-hand corner of your screen. You may have more than one ad-blocker installed.
  2. Follow the instructions for disabling the ad blocker on the site you’re viewing.You may have to select a menu option or click a button.
  3. Refresh the page or click the button below to continue.