Victorian Exhibition 4 – Koitsuki Hime

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The Koitsuki Hime exhibit at Parabolica-bis ended yesterday, though batsu was very fortunate to squeeze in. Doll Show 25, which I was unable to attend, no doubt contributed to the crowd that packed into the small but ornate exhibit space. It was my first time to witness a Koitsuki Hime exhibit in person – something that I’d been anticipating for nearly four years. Despite all of this, it still managed to live up to my very high expectations, based on the various photo albums I’ve encountered over the years.

Entering into the exhibit space was akin to breaking a séance, light from the twilight outside scattering over a tightly coiled snake of people, crouched in the darkness, in awe before the objects of worship. Each piece was individually lit with eerie ambiance, highlighting the delicate curls of fingers and toes and smooth subtleties of facial shading and expression. Every doll was housed in its own open canopy of dark gauzes, giving the impression of a series of portals – mirrors into another world. As they lie very close to the floor, the proper way to pay respect to such objects of reverence was to kneel before them, and revel in both their beauty and mystery.

Not surprisingly, it looked as if only 3 of the 15 or so dolls had not sold, indicated by a delicate pink ribbon adorning their wrists. In addition to the superiority of her sculpts, and almost uncanny expert blushing, Koitsuki Hime’s clothing really stands out. Many dolls were clad in corsets and other Victorian inspired undergarments, while others wore elegant dresses of regal brocade rippled with gold. Another allure of her craftsmanship are the more creative interpretational pieces found within the sea of classic solemn beauties. On this occasion, a two-headed baby and conjoined twins made appearances. Though, as the exhibit title “Victorian Twins” suggested, these were the predominant themes uniting all of the pieces.

One of my personal favorites was a pair of twins clad in ethereal white dressing gowns. As one of the twins lay in a coffin lined with white satin, the other stood, looking on in attendance. The two dolls featured on the flier were near life-sized, and laid out on a sofa, with their shoes daintily arranged beside them -  a very nice subtle accent. Also amazing were the aforementioned conjoined twins, especially the elegant gown they shared.

As a bonus, I ran into the pair who run “Mother Goose” – a favorite art “circle” who specialize in gothic and Victorian style doll clothing. They had apparently just finished cleaning up from a day of business at Doll Show 25, though no one would have known given the exquisite air of refinement and style in which they carry themselves. I look forward to meeting them again at the next doll bazaar event. As well as seeing their new creations.

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