Life is a Journey
Once spring is here,
we’ll all be itching to pack up and travel somewhere new.
Immersing yourself in a different environment lifts
the spirits and gives your health a boost.
It may seem far away,
but the day will surely come when we’ll
be able to fly around the world again.
With a focus on a freer future,
we asked six artists working in different places all over
the globe to tell us about the most memorable trips of their lives.
Illustrations by Luis Mendo
I wish I was there…
by Sarah Andelman
April 2020: We were supposed to go to Tokyo for the release of Colette mon Amour, the documentary on the last six months of Colette, and after that, we had planned to make a family trip to Kyoto, and to the James Turrell House of Light, and I absolutely had to see the Tadao Ando Buddha near Sapporo.
But everything was CANCELLED. Like so many other things in 2020.
September 2020: We released the movie Colette mon Amour in Tokyo, but we didn’t go. We followed the event through Instagram, and we felt so far away.
I’ve been lucky to go to so many wonderful places in the world: from Patagonia to the Maldives, from Utah to the top of the Alps. And I’m so grateful, every day, to live in the most beautiful (I find) city in the world: Paris. I also spend lots of time near Woodstock, in Upstate NY, which is very inspiring.
BUT, nothing is like JAPAN and I miss it so much!!! I can’t wait to go back to Tokyo, to walk around Shibuya, Daikanyama or Minato-ku. Cherry blossoms in Nakameguro, Tonkatsu at the Tonki counter, and shopping at Kiddyland or Itoya...I know I will always be a tourist in Tokyo even though I’ve been there several times, and that’s what I love about it. Always discovering new little things, but also feeling “at home” because of all the things that never change.
Founder of legendary store Colette, which closed in 2017 after twenty years. Sarah has since launched a creative company called Just An Idea, where she connects people from various creative fields.
Prejudice has no place in design
by Jong Kim
At the age of sixteen, certain I was already a grownup, I decided what I wanted to do with my life, a mature move for someone sixteen years old. And so I left for Paris, alone.
After graduating, I was lucky enough to find a job in design and lived there for fifteen years. My twenties, my most beautiful and dazzling years, were spent in Paris. In fact, half of my life so far.
I believe what I learned and experienced while living there has given me an edge, allowing me to live a better life here in Korea. I guess I was getting pretty lonely, living away from my home country for fifteen years, so when I left Paris, I thought I wouldn’t miss it very much.
But as Ernest Hemingway once wrote about the city, “wherever you go for the rest of your life, it stays with you, for Paris is a moveable feast.” He was right. The most beautiful times of our lives stay in our memories forever.
After grocery shopping at an old-fashioned market on the weekends, I used to ride my vintage Vespa along the Seine. I was mesmerized by Paris, which offered no shortage of charms. This helped me to forget when I was lonely.
The most inspiring place of all for me was the Museum of Hunting and Nature in the Marais. As an animal lover who lives with two pet dogs, I used to feel repulsed by the mere sight of the sign outside the museum. I thought I would never buy a ticket and go inside, but alas, I got hooked when I happened to visit for an event. In keeping with the character of Parisian curating, the museum presents the world of hunting—a word with scary, negative overtones—using soft, stylish and metaphorical expressions. A taxidermy fox trying to get some sleep in an old armchair. A ceiling filled with owl feathers. I admired the beauty of the hunting implements, which I had once thought were scary.
Whenever I visit Paris, I go to the museum, not because I am attracted to the space itself, but because of the memory of dismissing the museum outright, only to be delighted when I saw it with fresh eyes.
Principal of Jongkim Design Studio. Formerly worked for Patrick Jouin Studio Paris. Graduated from the design school École Camondo Paris with a master’s degree at the top of his class.
A quiet town where I can feel relaxed
by Shingo Kunieda
It’s rare for me to fantasize about “travel” to some far-off place, since I’m always heading overseas on tour. Still, if there’s one place I always find myself wanting to return to, without question it’s Melbourne, where the Australian Open is held each January. Unlike all the other bustling metropolises that host Grand Slams, this town has a laid-back feel, like time is moving slowly. It’s nice to wander the botanic garden on the riverside, not far from Melbourne Park where the tournaments are held, and since the days are long, even the little gaps between matches offer a chance to relax and unwind.
The whole town is excited about tennis. Wherever I go, everyone I meet is kind, and the climate is mild. This is also where I finally bounced back after a painful injury. If I was going to move anywhere, this would be it. That’s how many fond memories I have of being there. And when my family and I do take a vacation that doesn’t involve tennis, I naturally gravitate toward places where time moves slowly, like in Melbourne.
The top wheelchair tennis player in the world as of December 2020, Shingo Kunieda won gold medals at the 2008 Beijing Paralympics and the 2012 London Paralympics. Despite ongoing difficulties, including surgery on his right elbow in 2016, he made a full recovery and won the Australian Open in 2018. Since 2009, he has been a Global Brand Ambassador for UNIQLO.
by John Yuyi
This year I was planning to move from New York to Tokyo and live there for a while, but now I'm staying in Taiwan because of the pandemic.
Since I was a kid I had a lot of favorite cities in the world, and also dreamt about a lot of places where I might live when I grew up. Besides all the famous fancy big cities, there’s one that is especially memorable for me.
I traveled to Thailand in 2015, my third time visiting. After a stop in Bangkok, my partner and I visited Kanchanaburi, a city two hours away. We walked on an old railway next to a river and took a bus with no AC that had a loud fan running constantly. We went to the beautiful Erawan Falls. The frothy white water was so clear and so dreamy. We asked two people on motorbikes to take us across a rainy humid field. We took a train and were the only two people onboard all day until sunset. The view was so unreal the entire way. All the windows were open, and outside was a wide and endless natural landscape. Every window was like a framed painting of magic hour. It was so moving.
I know it sounds dramatic, but in that moment, I felt like if there was a train to heaven, it would look like this.
Born in Taiwan. Using models or her own body for a canvas, she creates temporary stick-on tattoos and shares them with the world, garnering attention. Based in New York, her varied creative output includes installation art.
by Svetlana Khodchenkova
Everyone has their fair share of unfinished journeys. I went to Japan for the first time in my life ten years ago, but it was for a work trip, I was totally focused on my job, and perceived things happening around me as a backdrop.
Now that there are almost no opportunities to travel around the world, I think of Japan more and more, since this beautiful country is definitely a place of unfinished journeys for me. I want to get back, to be one hundred percent there.
When I imagine going to Japan, I see myself in two seasons—spring, when the cherry blossoms bloom, and fall, when the maple trees are turning red.
At Ueno Park in Tokyo, I would spend a full day watching how the light changes, how visitors come and go, the families having picnics under cherry trees.
Visiting in autumn, I would head straight to Kyoto to see the Temple of the Golden Pavilion, and just like in the book by Yukio Mishima, I would question whether such beauty should be hidden or open to human eyes. I would then visit the park of the Imperial Palace at sunset, strolling with my head held high, unable to resist looking at the autumn foliage of the ginkgo trees.
Then in spring, I would head to Nikko, for the spring festival at Tosho-gu Shrine, and bask in the mists of a magnificent waterfall.
But I know a day will come when all these things will happen, and I will see Japan again in real life, not just my imagination.
Russian actor for theater and film. Since debuting with Bless the Woman, she has appeared in films from all over the world. Known best for Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy and The Wolverine. In 2020, she was declared the best actress of the decade in Russia.
My Continued Love Affair
if I had to choose a favorite destination on EARTH, or a favorite location, it would have to be JAPAN. my first trip was back in 1974, while I was in the U.S. NAVY and stationed at an AIRBASE near ATSUGI. ten years later in 1984, I would return, along with a few dozen others for the WILDSTYLE premier in TOKYO and OSAKA. and yes, in 1994, I would find another entry point, with my arrival to FUKUOKA. at this point, I was very familiar with the country and the customs and I knew it was a place I had always felt extremely comfortable. almost on cue, to the 10 year marker, which seems to underscore my continued love affair with the country, in 2004, I would open my RETAIL shop FUTURALABORATORIES, also located in FUKUOKA. from that point, having created strong relationships with my JAPANESE friends and collaborators, the last decade has been much of a revival of my previous timeline which culminated last year in 2019 with my GENERATION Z exhibition at THE MASS in TOKYO featuring STASH, and of course my son TIMOTHY aka @13thwitness.
Pioneering an abstract approach to graffiti, Futura is a legend of the graffiti arts and one of the key figures, alongside Jean-Michel Basquiat and Keith Haring, who took the 1980s art scene by storm. Sportswear born from his collaboration with UNIQLO is planned for release this spring.
Stopping the Clock
by Maiko Kurogouchi
Before the world fell into chaos, I spent some time in Portugal. Landing in the city of Porto, I meandered down the coast and finished up in Tavira, a town by the Spanish border, where it feels as if the clocks have stopped. I liked it there so much I stayed for a whole week, doing almost nothing.
Waking in the morning when the sun came through the giant windows of my room, I explored the town on a little rented Honda Cub. Whenever I went out, the big dog living at the inn chased after me. I couldn’t stop myself from looking back, to see its white and black fur flashing as it barreled through the tall grass of the fields. Flowers I had never seen before bloomed all along the seaside roads in pretty flecks like snow. Sketching them, I started wishing that I had a floral dress like that.
At night, while the moon glowed over a quiet, profound darkness, the old lady named Barbara who was my host prepared the most delicious dinners. And as I ate my fill, I gazed absentmindedly into the fireplace.
I realize now this sounds like it was all a dream. I know I won’t be able to return for quite some time, so I designed a new collection based on this experience.
The sunlight and windswept flowers in my memory have reappeared as clothing, bringing back those memories each time I wear them. At times like this, I’m so glad I’m a designer.
Founded Kurogouchi Design Office in 2010. Creator of online women’s brand Mame Kurogouchi, which has been presented in Paris since the 2018 Fall & Winter collection.