Won the Oscar for Best Costume Design Award for “Ran” Cooperated with Zhang Yimou, “Hero” and “Ambush on Ten Sides” The “First Incense” currently being screened has become his posthumous work
Wada Huimei passed away: May she continue to decorate heaven with brocade silk and satin
Zhang Ailing once said: “For those who can’t speak, clothes are a kind of language, and pocket dramas are carried with them.” In the film industry, Emi Wada, who is known as “Asia’s No. 1 Costume Director”, has always been “designing “Reflecting the personality of the person” is its professional label. On November 21, Japanese media reported that Megumi Wada died of illness on November 13 at the age of 84. The funeral was held in a low-key manner by her family. When the news spread to China, Zhang Yimou, Xu Anhua, Li Liuyi, Bao Dexi, Chen Jiashang, Ma Sichun, etc. sent messages to mourn.
In 1986, Emi Wada won the Oscar for Best Costume Design for the movie “Ran” and became the first Japanese woman to win the Oscar; in 1992, she directed the opera “Oedipus King” by Japanese conductor Seiji Ozawa. “Won the Emmy Award for Outstanding Costume Design, and has worked as a costume designer in many classic Japanese movies such as “Taketori Monogatari”, “Dream”, and “Gofado”.
Wada Huimei’s life has a deep connection with China. She has cooperated with many Chinese filmmakers. She won the 13th, 17th, and 22nd Hong Kong Awards for “The White-haired Witch”, “Song Dynasty” and “Hero” respectively. Film Awards Best Costume Design Award.
Wada Huimei has been engaged in clothing design since she was 20 years old, and she still doesn’t get bored after working for more than 60 years. “The First Incense” directed by Xu Anhua, which is currently in theaters, is the work of Huimei Wada, and it has become her last work.
Cool, sassy, soft, elegant, firm, perfection…People who have been in contact with her often comment on her, and people admire her attitude at work. Director Li Liuyi, who has worked with her, said: ” The scene of her kneeling on the ground and folding clothes will always be engraved in my memory. She said:’They are alive, we must cherish them.'”
I also want to thank my husband for his insight
Emi Wada was born in a wealthy family in Kyoto in 1937 and graduated from the Western Painting Department of the Municipal University of Arts. Kyoto is Japan’s “thousand-year ancient capital”, and its rich cultural and historical charm has benefited Emi Wada infinitely. The Buddha statues, the lines of the trees, and the stones in the garden are all sources of inspiration for Emi Wada’s design.
Emi Wada, who studied Western painting, did not initially have the idea of becoming a costume designer, and she never expected that her career would be inseparable from film. At the age of 20, Wada Emi, who was still in college, married NHK producer Wada Meng. Wada Meng was also a stage director. It was he who discovered the potential of his wife. He invited Wada Emi to design his stage play “Blue Fire”. Costume.
Wada Emi once mentioned in an interview: “When I was 20, the first time I made costumes by myself was the stage play “Blue Fire” created by the poet Masaki Domoto. The costumes of “Blue Fire” were all made with school dyes. The hand-sewn was completed, and the result was unprecedented praise.” Wada Huimei became famous in one fell swoop, and then received a lot of work to design musical costumes.
And this “Blue Fire” also made Wada Huimei interested in costume design, and thought that she was very suitable for this business. She believed that painting is a personal work, which is not “completed” in essence, and will never end until she understands it. . And the work of fashion design, established because of “there are others”, is very interesting.
It is worth mentioning that from “Blue Fire”, Wada Huimei began to pay attention to the relationship between clothing and character characters. “Whenever I design clothes for a movie, the first thing I think about is how to reflect the character’s character in the design.” This has become the most important design concept of Wada Huimei. She said: “As long as I am interested in the script of a movie, I can design costumes for all the characters in it, and it can be completed in a very short time.”
When shooting Kurosawa Akira’s “Ran”
Once sold the house in Tokyo to help the crew solve financial difficulties
It is this concept that led to the cooperation between Wada Emi and Kurosawa Akira in “Chaos”, which opened up the glory of Wada Emi’s life.
Megumi Wada was known by Akira Kurosawa through the producer Yoichi Matsue. In 1957, Shakespeare’s “Macbeth” was made into the movie “Spider’s Nest” by Akira Kurosawa. After watching the works of Shakespeare, Emi Wada was extremely excited. She expressed her love for “The Spider’s Nest” to Akira Kurosawa. , The two chatted about the works of Shakespeare that they both love. Akira Kurosawa revealed to her that he actually wanted to shoot “King Lear.” The 20-year-old Emi Wada said impulsively: “Then you must look for I make costumes.”
What moved Wada Emi was, “Mr. Kurosawa remembered what I said and promoted me as a young man.”
25 years later, in 1982, Wada Emi received a call from Akira Kurosawa, inviting her to join the movie “Chaos”. This movie is based on Shakespeare’s “King Lear”, but the background of the story was adapted by Akira Kurosawa to take place in Japan during the Warring States Period.
Megumi Wada spent more than a year collecting materials for the costume design of “Ran”, and won the 58th Oscar for the best costume design award for this film, becoming the first Japanese woman to win this award, and awarded her a figurines. The trophy is the legendary actress Audrey Hepburn.
Recalling the concept of designing costumes for “Ran”, Wada Emi said, “Although “King Lear” is well-known in the world, there will be some problems when Japanese people come to play this story. For example, in the eyes of Westerners, all Japanese people They all look the same. How can the three sons in the film make Westerners recognize who is who? So I have to inject their own personalities into everyone’s clothing.”
Color has become a major “weapon” of Wada Huimei. In a scene of three brothers fighting, she boldly used bright red, blue, yellow and other colors to not only highlight the personality of the characters, but also increase the visual effects to highlight the blood. The dripping scene.
For the female character Mrs. Maple in the film, Wada Huimei chose a shiny silver gauze fabric, “She is a feminine-hearted woman, so I designed this to make her insidious more intuitive. Mrs. Maple was killed. At that time, I used a combination of gold and black on his clothes, replacing the original gold and white collocation, thus creating a kind of depression of death.”
Movie fans know that Kurosawa pursues perfection, and the story of “Waiting for the Clouds” has become a great talk. During the filming of “Ran”, Kurosawa asked the crew to wait for many days in order to capture the cloud he wanted. Although the ideal cloud shape was filmed, the filming money was also used up. Wada Emi once ordered $2 million worth of clothes and accessories in four clothing stores in Kyoto. Seeing the deadline, what if there is no funds? Wada Emi finally decided to sell the house in Tokyo to help the crew tide over the difficulties.
One morning, Kurosawa called Emi Wada and told her that there was a company willing to invest and that the film could continue, and Emi Wada wept with joy.
In 2017, the drama “King Lear” directed by Li Liuyi was staged at the National Centre for the Performing Arts. The 80-year-old Hetian Huimei designed the costumes for the play. The lead actor Pu Cunxin said that the elderly were exhausted in those days and often stayed up all night with the crew. Wada Huimei said that when she was 20 years old because she liked Shakespeare’s plays, she was still designing for King Lear played by Pu Cunxin when she was 80 years old. “I have liked Shakespeare since I was young and wanted to make all the costumes in his 37 works Come out. To this day, I have done half of Shakespeare’s work.”
In 2019, Hetian, who is already in ill health, joined “The First Incense” directed by Xu Anhua. A member of the crew recalled that I saw her in Beijing for the first time in 2019. After work, everyone followed the director to take photos with her. The deputy director Niro even put on a T-shirt with the portrait of Director Akira Kurosawa and Mr. Wada. Framed, at that moment, the brilliance of the movie in the Showa era seemed to be right in front of him, and Mr. Wada couldn’t help feeling: “I used to work on the crew with Director Akira Kurosawa. I’m only in my 40s and will always be the youngest person on the crew. , Wherever I go now is the oldest one on the crew!”
Remind Du Kefeng: “You must photograph that corsage clearly!”
Hetian Huimei is very well-known in China, because she has worked with many well-known directors such as Zhang Yimou, Tian Zhuangzhuang, Xu Anhua, etc. The amazing costumes such as “Hero” and “Ambush on Ten Sides” are all made by Hetian Huimei.
The fate of Wada Emi and China began in the 1993 movie “The White-haired Witch”. The film director Yu Rentai is a fan of Akira Kurosawa. He made a special trip to Japan to invite Wada Emi when filming “The White-haired Witch”. The costume design of the film brings new ideas.
After Yu Rentai’s wish came true, Wada Huimei’s costumes for “The Story of the White-Haired Witch” have been talked about today. After reading Liang Yusheng’s original work and the script, Wada Huimei used different clothing materials and contrasting colors to show the character’s personality.
She made more than two hundred sets of costumes for the film based on the Tibetan, Uygur, Miao and other ethnic minorities in China, as well as the costumes of Nepal. After washing and grinding again. The head of the costume of the heroine Lin Qingxia in the film is studded with shells and ancient coins; the costume of the hero Leslie Cheung uses traditional Chinese navy, black and dark gray, and the fluffy hair is braided behind her head. , Portrays the image of a knight in a dilemma. The film won the Best Costume Design Award at the 13th Hong Kong Film Awards, which also made Wada Huimei famous in China.
For mainland audiences, the understanding of Hetian Huimei stems from her collaboration with Zhang Yimou in “Heroes” and “Ambush on Ten Sides”. When preparing the movie “Hero”, Zhang Yimou specially visited Hetian Huimei. When he saw her collection, Zhang Yimou was amazed: “You have more information about ancient Chinese costumes than Chinese designers.”
“Hero” takes Qin unified the world as the background, and uses pure colors such as black, red, blue, white, and green as the color tone. Hetian Huimei used a lot of black in the buildings and clothing of the Qin Dynasty to highlight the domineering domineering of the world. She also went to Xi’an to see the Terracotta Warriors and Horses of the Qin Dynasty, study their appearance, clothing, and explore their texture and posture.
Although the costumes of “Hero” only have five pure colors of red, green, blue, white and gray, Wada Huimei is extremely picky about details. In order to find her ideal red, she soaks in the dyeing workshop every day to experiment with different fabrics and dyeing methods. The red color alone produced 54 layers of tones. Qin Bing’s black was stone-milled during bleaching and dyeing to give a rich black effect. In order to show the light and agile martial arts effect, the silk, linen, cotton, and leather materials are required to be elegant and have a dance-like beauty.
After the death of Can Jian played by Tony Leung, in order to express the sadness of the maid Ju Yue, Hetian Huimei put on a white plain robe for Zhang Ziyi, but carefully embroidered a small flower on the neckline. Before the filming started, she pulled Du Kefeng’s sleeves and repeatedly asked: “You must make a clear picture of that corsage!”
In the later “Ambush on Ten Sides”, Huimei Wada began to make a fuss about “gorgeous”. The complex pattern decoration and exquisite and luxurious fabrics showed the grace and luxury of the palace. Every piece of clothing can be taken out and detailed, and there are countless elegant features.
Kyoto is known as the “Dyeing and Weaving City” in the world, and many dyeing and weaving crafts that have disappeared in China have been preserved to this day. Hetian Huimei was deeply influenced and highly respected handmade. For example, in “Song Dynasty”, the art deco style wedding dress worn by Song Meiling played by Wu Junmei at the wedding was sewn by hand. Wada Huimei brought a lot of fabrics from Hong Kong and Japan, but couldn’t find suitable concealed buttons and yarns to match there. Jiang Wen, who plays the role of her father in the film, couldn’t find suitable fabrics in Beijing in the suit in the play. She had to go to Hong Kong, China to order British fabrics.
In “Ambush on Ten Sides”, the bamboo hat worn by Zhang Ziyi is a sample made by a bamboo artist in Kyoto. The bamboo used in the hat is thick and thin, which is a unique Japanese weaving method. Hetian Huimei prepared 1,200 sets of silk costumes for “Ambush on Ten Sides”, all of which were hand-embroidered. Zhang Ziyi changed 10 sets by herself. Wada Huimei also admitted: “Costume design always has to struggle with time and budget. I always strive for perfection, but it is difficult.”
Design is endless
Facing challenges and always innovating
Wada Huimei believes: “Reproducing history is not my primary task. Clothing must express individuality. I will not completely ignore history and tradition, but this is a matter of discussing with the director and deciding what is the most important issue. Sometimes, I remove the color. In order to create something that suits my own taste. Even if it is a period drama, we must remember that the audience is made up of our contemporaries. Although we try to retain some historical elements of the drama more than a hundred years ago, I added modern colors to the mix.”
After the “Song Dynasty” won the Hong Kong Golden Statue Award, Wada Huimei once left a message to the students of the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts: “Design is endless. Facing challenges, always innovate.”
When she was 80 years old, someone asked when she would retire. She laughed and said that the 84-year-old director was still working, so it was too early for her to talk about retirement. In addition to movies, she also began to participate in Chinese TV dramas and dramas. “The Generals” is the first TV series created by Wada Huimei. As the artistic director of the play, Wada Huimei designed 1588 costumes for the 85 characters in the whole play. The entire modeling design process lasted more than 3 months, one stitch and one thread. Do it yourself.
Wada Huimei’s first time designing costumes for a theater performance in China was the ballet “Peony Pavilion” in collaboration with director Li Liuyi, choreographer Fei Bo, and stage designer Michael Simon. Since then, there have been two collaborations with director Li Liuyi, the opera “The Wilderness” (Beijing International Music Festival), and the drama “King Lear” (co-produced by the National Centre for the Performing Arts and Beijing Li Liuyi Drama Studio).
And after learning the news of Hetian Huimei’s death, Director Li Liuyi sent a message to mourn. He said that he originally had an appointment with Teacher Hetian to collaborate on “The King of Oedipus.” Seeing is full of imagination, full of warmth, and full of enjoyment.”
Li Liuyi praised He Tian Huimei for being as soft and firm as water, “She speaks softly and is never superfluous, but her thoughts are always clear and accurate. The scene of her kneeling on the ground and folding clothes will always be engraved in my memory. She said: They are alive. Be sure to cherish them. This is her attitude towards every piece of clothes she designs and finishes by herself. She loves these clothes, and she loves every life expressed by these clothes even more. They are fresh, their thoughts, and theirs. beautiful.”
Li Liuyi said that Mr. Hetian loves beauty. Every time I see her, she is always so simple and beautiful. The colors are gorgeous and noble. “I like to see her smoking. We stand in the open air. She holds a soot in her hand. The small container is very quiet. She is enjoying, she is meditating, she is watching, watching the restless figures in the world, and she is never driven by all kinds of fame and fortune in the world. She has won the Oscar for fashion design early and won countless With a world-renowned reputation, she just quietly sews her own free clothes, free art, and free beauty all her life, stitch by stitch! Beautiful as water!”
Wada Huimei said in an interview before his death: “You must do what you like. Don’t touch what you don’t like, but stick to what you like. Even if there are only five people in the world who pay attention to and understand my work, I will do Continue for it.” And having been engaged in this work for more than 60 years, Wada Huimi said that she has never tired of it, “I think I am really lucky.”
Ma Sichun, who has cooperated with Hetian Huimei twice, mourned on Weibo: “Teacher Hetian has too many aesthetic works treasured. I hope she will continue to decorate the heaven with brocade silk and satin, and there will be her beauty in heaven and on earth.”
This is also the wish of all those who love Wada Huimei.
Text/Reporter Zhang Jia
Source: Beijing Youth Daily
Article source: Beijing Youth Daily
Author: Zhang Jia | Responsible Editor: Yu Ying