Dai Fujiwara: The Road of My Cyber Physical Hands
HKDI Gallery Showcases “Dai Fujiwara The Road of My Cyber Physical Hands”
Renowned Japanese Designer’s First Solo Exhibition in Hong Kong
Committed to promoting design education and facilitating dialogue among industry experts, students and design enthusiasts through partnerships with international museums, institutions and designers, the Hong Kong Design Institute (HKDI) and the Hong Kong Institute of Vocational Education (IVE) (Lee Wai Lee), together with the HKDI Gallery, are honoured to present its flagship exhibition of the year: “Dai Fujiwara The Road of My Cyber Physical Hands”, renowned Japanese designer Dai FUJIWARA’s first solo exhibition in Hong Kong, as part of their interdisciplinary “#DesignUnfold” programme.
Dai FUJIWARA, who most recently served as Director of the MUJI to GO project, is a designer who continues to transcend creative borders, from textiles to product design and beyond. His highly impressive body of work comprises innovative multidisciplinary projects for prominent international brands, as well as for various educational organisations and communities achieved through his bold and unconventional ideas.
Marking his first solo exhibition in Hong Kong, “Dai Fujiwara The Road of My Cyber Physical Hands”, held at HKDI Gallery from now until 28 March 2021, is a first-ever look into Dai FUJIWARA’s creative career that started with creating objects by hand, then gradually expanded into design engineering. Thoughtfully curated by Dai FUJIWARA himself, the exhibition uses the idea of “hands” as a starting point, and showcases Fujiwara’s long-time fascination with human hands as well as his continuous research and exploration of “future hands”: technology. Bringing to light some of his earliest works from his time as a student up to his most recent, never-before-seen creations, the exhibition is also a conversation between the present and the future, capturing Fujiwara’s journey through different realms, from nature and technology to design, art, community and society.
“We are honoured to have Dai FUJIWARA to present his first solo exhibition in Hong Kong at HKDI,” says Dr Lay Lian ONG, Principal of HKDI & IVE (Lee Wai Lee). “We hope that this exhibition will offer students and the public a rare opportunity to appreciate Mr. Fujiwara’s creative journey through his inspiringly diverse projects, and will provide plenty of food for thought on the limitless application of design thinking in multidisciplinary design fields.”
Speaking of the curatorial direction, Dai FUJIWARA says: “The exhibition title ‘The Road of My Cyber Physical Hands’ envisions our future – the fusion of cyber and physical. The two will intermingle in our daily lives and create a new lifestyle. In this exhibition, I wish to explore what will persist and what will change over the next century or two.”
Drawing on Fujiwara’s dynamic projects in a wide range of genres, the exhibition is divided into three distinctive areas, featuring a total of 34 exhibits accompanied by multimedia elements. The first area of the exhibition puts 24 of Fujiwara’s past and recent works together. Showcased on panels and videos surrounded by specially designed knit installation arches, viewers are invited to discover some of Fujiwara’s most iconic works, including “Poincaré Odyssey” for the 2010-2011 Autumn / Winter Paris Collection, where Fujiwara applied the concept of topology in mathematics to the runway and designed garments incorporating twisted rings inspired by the eight models of the universe; his various student projects while at university; as well as creative projects that address social issues in collaboration with various organisations and institutes.
As a continuation, the second area introduces a series of installations and projects that focus on Fujiwara’s unique design methods and perspectives. Inspired by his personal research and investigations, Fujiwara devised the “colour-hunting” concept, where colours in real life were reproduced with watercolour mixed onto pieces of paper. Presenting new design possibilities based on these “real colour” swatches from the natural world and our cities, the exhibition showcases Fujiwara’s various colour-hunting projects, including his works with an eyewear and a cosmetics brand respectively: “Skin Color Glasses” and “Baby Skin Earphones”, in which he created eyeglasses and earphones with colours derived from adults’ and babies’ skin colours; “Enoshima Electric Railways, Information Train”, a moving installation to illustrate how colours hunted from countless leaves in Enoshima came together, and were recreated into a stripe pattern of 17 colours worn by the local tram car; “Lion Shoes” for a footwear brand, with mobile robots mounted onto shoes dyed with colours collected from African lions, resembling lions catching prey in the wild; and “Color of Sky”, a collection of different sky colours documented by Fujiwara since 2013.
The third and final area of the exhibition unveils Fujiwara’s most recent works that brought creativity in cyberspace into reality. Adopting ongoing experiments with technology, Fujiwara operated different robots instead of using hands to create garments. In his “Garbage Turned Yarn – Grassland Sweater, Urban Sweater” collection, Fujiwara breathed new life into garbage using a handheld vacuum cleaner as his new pair of hands. He gathered hair dropped by animals in Mongolia and debris from the streets of New York and Tokyo and spun these into yarn to create eight sweaters. Viewers will be able to experience Fujiwara’s point of view in the garment creation process through an immersive multimedia experience. Drones, as an extension of the hand, were also used to create the namesake “Cyber Physical Hands” for the exhibition. By programming the drone with drawing mediums, then navigating them to draw patterns by dropping the materials onto a fabric, Fujiwara’s latest apparel creations made from drone-painted fabric demonstrate future design ideas fused with the use of technology.
Ending on an inspirational note, the exhibition closes with a video interview of Fujiwara recounting his own journey through different realms of design, and his quest to blur the borders between the past, present, and future. While the world may continue to face mounting challenges in 2021 and beyond, Fujiwara concludes that the exhibition aims to bring forth unique perspectives and values despite difficulties, at a scale as limitless as the sky.
A virtual exhibition of “Dai Fujiwara The Road of My Cyber Physical Hands” will be available online at
In line with social distancing measures, the exhibition will adopt a session-based policy with limitations to the number of visitors within the gallery. Visitors will be required to book their preferred timeslots in advance at https://hkdigallery_daifujiwara_admission.eventbrite.com for timed visits. For the latest arrangements of the exhibition and its hygienic preventive measures, please refer to HKDI Gallery’s website.