New collaboration projects historical art through contemporary illustration
Global apparel retailer UNIQLO announces the launch of The Louvre x Yu Nagaba collection. This UT (UNIQLO T-shirt) collaboration collection, part of the partnership between UNIQLO and the Musée du Louvre, features masterpieces from the museum’s collections illustrated with the simple and soft touch characteristic of graphic artist Yu Nagaba. It presents a fresh perspective on Western art.
Commenting on the collection, Yu Nagaba said, “When I started expressing myself in the simple lines I use today, the first painting I emulated was the Mona Lisa. I thought the best way to show off this style would be through an image that people already know and love. So it was deeply meaningful for me to return to the Mona Lisa for this project and I really enjoyed the process of finishing the pieces while closely examining the characteristics of the original artworks.”
Born 1976 in Tokyo. Nagaba moved to Turkey at age 10 for his father’s work and studied painting under an oil painting artist. After graduating from Tokyo Zokei University, he began his creative activities while working as a graphic designer for T-shirts in an apparel company. Currently active in various fields such as magazines, books, advertisements, and collaborations with apparel brands, he has held solo exhibitions in Tokyo, New York and Taiwan, attracting attention both in Japan and abroad.
Yu Nagaba illustrations spark the imagination from the original works of the Louvre
The collection draws on a variety of motifs from the more than 35,000 works displayed in the Louvre, including Greek sculptures, European paintings, and Egyptian art. The illustrations by Yu Nagaba are minimalist while conveying respect and admiration for the original pieces.
The partnership between UNIQLO and the Musée du Louvre, launched in January 2021, includes a series of ongoing collaboration collections from UT, as well as support from UNIQLO for several educational programs held at the Louvre. In addition, UNIQLO RIVOLI, which opened in 2021 near the Louvre on Rue de Rivoli, hosts special exhibits and workshops in collaboration with the museum, providing visitors with the opportunity to easily engage with art in the store.