Zak Group Creative Directs the International Woolmark Prize 2022 Bringing Together FKA twigs and Isamu Noguchi

Multi-disciplinary design office Zak Group has provided the creative direction for the International Woolmark Prize 2022 including a film featuring FKA twigs and the work of sculptor Isamu Noguchi.

Under the title PLAYSCAPE Zak Group provided the overall creative direction for this year’s prize encompassing a film, an event space and showroom and a special partnership with The Isamu Noguchi Foundation and Garden Museum.

Zak Group took inspiration from Noguchi’s vision of play as a creative catalyst. The theme for this year’s prize focuses on play as a form of creative exploration. The film features and was directed by English singer-songwriter and dancer FKA twigs. Merging influences from fashion, art, dance and music, the film showcases the collection looks of the prize finalists: Ahluwalia, EGONLAB, Jordan Dalah, MMUSOMAXWELL, Peter Do, RUI and Saul Nash.

Zak Group’s creative director, Zak Kyes says: “For some, play is best left to children. But it’s through play that creativity is sparked and new perspectives are created. Our vision for the Woolmark Prize is to create a playground for the next generation of fashion talent to collide with dance, art, music and design. FKA twigs was the perfect collaborator because of her polymathic practice and singular voice. We are indebted to Isamu Noguchi for providing the inspiration to take play seriously.”

The film was choreographed by Juliano Nunes and opens with an empty gallery of Noguchi’s play sculptures which becomes populated by an ensemble cast of characters. In the second part of the film the characters enter an imaginary landscape where a ballet sensibility is combined with elements drawn from hip-hop, modernism, contemporary dance and punk aesthetics. Guest appearances by iconic creatives including Princess Julia, Kai Isiah Jamal and Kiddy Smile complement the unique silhouettes and mood of each designer’s collection. The film’s dancers include Ève-Marie Dalcourt, Tania Dimbelolo, Dmitri Gruzdev, Meshach Henry, Salome Pressac, Hannah Raynor, Maycie-Ann St-Louis and Alex Thirkle.

Brett Littman, the Director of the Isamu Noguchi Foundation and Garden Museum, says: “As Isamu Noguchi once said: ‘When the adult would imagine like a child he must project himself into seeing the world as a totally new experience.’ Noguchi was proposing playgrounds for New York City as early as 1933 and would be pre-occupied by the idea of socially relevant sculpture for his whole career. The Noguchi Museum is honoured that the 2022 Woolmark Prize recognises Noguchi’s ground-breaking multi-disciplinary work and the importance of play in creativity as the inspiration for this year’s award.”

Zak Group has also designed a live event space and showroom featuring a series of sculptural pavilions, presenting the work of each IWP2022 finalist alongside original Noguchi artworks. The International Woolmark Prize winners will be announced during the live event in London on 26 April, 2022.