As part of the ‘Inspiration in Bloom’ series to celebrate Veuve Clicquot’s La Grande Dame by Yayoi Kusama collaboration, Kom I and five creatives share what brings them joy and optimism for the year ahead
“What makes me bloom?” – a playful and curious prompt that the Veuve Clicquot Creative Makers programme put to a roster of artists and creatives at the beginning of 2021, when things felt uncertain and unknowable. Collaborators from across fashion, film, and art, including Mark Tyus and Shini Park, took the question with unbridled energy and expanded on it, to create messages of hope, creativity, and optimism for the year ahead.
This moment marked the “Inspiration in Bloom” programme, a project that’s part of the ongoing collaboration between Veuve Clicquot and the inimitable artist Yayoi Kusama, celebrating the House’s latest vintage, La Grande Dame 2012. Kusama’s partnership with Veuve Clicquot saw the artist create a flamboyantly colourful gift box and flower sculpture, which pays a touching tribute to the inimitable ‘la grande dame’ of champagne, Madame Clicquot, and joins two mighty women with glass ceiling-smashing legacies together.
The Japanese artist is a creative polymath of a generation, with visionary avant-garde work that spans painting, sculpture, performance, collage, installation, literature, and fashion. Kusama continues to enchant generations of art-lovers; her expansive sell-out exhibition Infinity Mirrored Room – Filled with the Brilliance of Life at London’s Tate Modern fields endless queues of people hoping to catch a glimpse at her famous polka dots and pumpkins, and most pertinently, the art that speaks to themes of intimate self-identity, the amorphous boundaries of life and creative expression, and intense personal reflection.
Self-reflection is a necessary theme for this time of the year – as we slide meditatively into 2022, we recall our triumphs and challenges, precious memories shared with loved ones, and the new ones to be made in the new year ahead. And so, with the second chapter of “Inspiration in Bloom”, this cohort of Veuve Clicquot Creative Makers for La Grande Dame – including Kom I, Shini Park, Mark Tyus, Candela Pelizza, Chloe Wise, and Sisilia Piring – answer the question, ‘what’s your blooming intention?”.
The six hand-picked creative talents from across the world share their ‘Blooming Intentions’, wishes and ideas that they hope will inspire optimism, creativity, and joy in 2022.
“Last year was a year full of problems and tragic events all over the world, but I’d like to see hope in the lessons we have learnt, in our will to overcome hardships,” Kom I shares.
The Japanese singer, model, and actor, known for the stunning 2019 EP YAKUSHIMA TREASURE and as the lead singer of Wednesday Camapanella, reflects astutely on what we have faced, and what’s to come: “I see hope in the resilience we’ve shown during this period, in the shift in mentality on both a micro and macro levels: placing human beings and humanity itself back at the core of our way of thinking and living – as it should always be.”
“I feel there are already many political and social steps and actions taken following this brand new path and this is really hopeful to me,” she adds. In response to Veuve Clicquot’s question, her ‘blooming intention’ is for collective greatness: “May a brilliant season come to all of us next year”.
Speaking of her own intentions for the year ahead, she says: “I will do everything I want to do without letting up, and I will always tackle head-on what lies ahead.” Ultimately, she’s looking forward to “the joy of human gathering”, and “to feel the joy of people coming and getting back together” – it’s a sentiment that in this current season and beyond, we can all hold close.
Right now, Kom I is continuing to learn various forms of traditional art, much that originates from her home of Japan. “I feel very happy about that. I just love learning these kinds of things,” she shares.
It’s in this creative practice that she finds herself evaluating human connection and emotion. “Each art form brings something different to me and inspires me in a very peculiar way,” she says. “I can see techniques that have transcended generations and feel the warmth of human interactions between teachers and students through dance and singing lessons for example. In Japan, there are a lot of interesting local traditional festivals that deeply touch me and feed both my inspiration and creativity. I love watching them and wondering which role these songs and dances play or can play in our lives.”
When reflecting on the “blooming intentions” prompt, Kom I finds herself most resonating with its natural imagery and themes of energy, abundance, and self-care that it triggers. “It’s very important to fill your heart with positive nutrients,” she explains. “Japan has a very vibrant transition of four seasons: insects and plants create a dynamic scenery in mid-Summer, but in Winter we feel like we’re at the bottom of the wavelength of life’s energy. It is a season not for being forcefully active, but for careful preparation for Spring blooming.”
Like many of us, the 29-year-old hopes to take in the lessons of the last year – of engaging with others, staying joyous and open-hearted – in a moment of calm, before facing up to the possibilities of 2022. “I’d like for all to remember the valuable lessons we’ve learnt during this time in which we had to stand still,” she affirms. “That is where I place my most profound hope, for people not to forget while embracing each other’s presence and the beauty of human interactions.”
With this in mind, Veuve Clicquot is turning it over to you and whatever your blooming wish is, with the hope to rendez-vous with you in 2022 and all the joy, hope, and optimism we create together.
La Grande Dame x Yayoi Kusama by Veuve Clicquot is available now, and you can head here to discover more.