Psychedelic Furs | The Tokyo Artist Building Extravagant Floral Blanket Rooms

Makoto Egashira's elaborate installations are a fuzzy, kitschy clash of eastern and western culture

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Oct 17 2018, 2:49pm

Makoto Egashira’s obsession with rose blankets began when a friend laughed at his own. “When I was living on my own, a friend came over and told me, ‘The room is nice but your blanket is uncool,'” the Japanese artist says.

Since then, Makoto has been creating installations from Rococo style blankets that “every Japanese person might have”. These are often of domestic scenes, where he covers whole rooms in the plush fabric as a way to think about the shape of Japanese culture. He has featured in over 12 Japanese exhibitions in the past two years alone and is slowly growing a steady follower base of fellow blanket enthusiasts. i-D spoke to the 32-year-old Tama Art University graduate, who speaks little English, through a Japanese translator.

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Photo: Makoto Egashira

Reflecting on when his friend first commented on his choice of blanket for his room, Makoto realised he too didn’t particularly like the blanket. Rose blankets became popular in Japan after World War II, because of what Makoto describes as the “admiration and complex feelings they had towards westerners.” For this reason he describes it as being “subconsciously chosen” by him, and he wanted to explore this with his work.

“Models in [Japanese] magazines and mannequins can be Caucasian and Japanese school uniforms and weddings are now in a western style,” Makoto says. “In the front porch of houses in Japan, there can be for some reason a Rococo style fence or angel statues. Japan likes to pride itself on being Japanese, but there are a lot of things you could point out that are odd.” He then describes things he believes he could also be “pointed out” on. Growing up, Makoto went to a Christian kindergarten and attended church every day, but then on New Year went to the shrine to pray. His parents’ funerals, he says, were also in traditional Japanese style.

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