Photography by Lester Lai
Styling by CK Koo
Hairstyling by Ken Hong
Floral Design by Dan Takeda
Text by Adeline Chua
dress DIOR. above image: top CHANEL.
dress ISSEY MIYAKE
Sadako Yamamura emerged from a well and crawled out of a TV set. Artist Sokkuan Tye watched the villain of Koju Suzuki’s “The Ring” with fear — as well as a genuine sense of curiosity. Over the years, Sokkuan has documented her feelings of tenderness towards this classic horror movie figure, with a series of work called Sadako’s Unfashionable Fashion Diary.
It started as a series of illustrations showing Sadako’s world, a kind of visual diary of her eccentric fashion choices, her daily activities and her companions, real or imaginary. Gradually this diary expanded to include photography, short animated clips, as well as product collaborations. She has also inspired a collection of coloured tights with Japanese tights maker, Tonoke.
Through this sprawling project, Sadako emerges as a fuller, three-dimensional being, romantic at times, sad on others, or simply nuts. The worlds between artist and subject have also blurred — the two have a parasitical relationship, events and feelings from Sokkuan’s daily life feed into Sadako, while Sadako’s eccentricities are also ways for Sokkuan to let her own imagination run wild.
But recently, Sadako has wandered out of the pages of her Unfashionable Fashion Diary to embark on a new adventure with other people. In this Secret Garden photoshoot, she has roped in photographer Lester Lai, hairstylist Ken Hong, floral artist Dan Takeda and stylist CK Koo.
Lester is a self-taught photographer who works mostly in fashion. His series of work showcase his detached, documentary style that capture the grace and beauty of everyday scenes. Ken, founder of Evolve Salon is an award-winning industry veteran who loves experimentation. His work has been featured in countless commercials, editorials and runway shows. Dan’s intricate floral designs can be found in boutiques such as Gucci and Louis Vuitton. He is challenging himself this time by working with hair. CK has over a decade’s experience as a stylist in fashion, design and publishing.
Together, they have created a new series of portraits of Sadako. In them, her ever-present hair is her garden. Whether it is in an explosion of purple blooms on a mossy afro, or bunched-up leaves embedded in knots of hair, her garden serves both as a mask and a mirror to her heart. Sokkuan has called it a kind of “veil” for Sadako, a place of hiding. But these are flowers coloured by her feelings, leaves rooted in her body. Her tears are rain, and her smile is the sun. Take a stroll in her garden.
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