Detour and myDetour Tokyo

10 August 2009

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Detour: A Traveling Show with Worldwide Creators

Detour is a traveling group show dedicated to culture and creativity worldwide that features internationally recognized artists, architects, film directors, graphic designers, illustrators, and writers. Moleskine's Detour exhibitions support the non-profit lettera27 foundation. Previous Detour exhibitions have taken place in London, Nee York, Paris, Berlin, Istanbul. Throughout its travels, Detour is always attracting new artists to the project, especially creative artists that are particularly related to the cities in which the exhibitions take place. The notebooks displayed during all Detour exhibitions are permanently shown on the Moleskine website. A single post is dedicated to each author, with a photo, video, and biographical information. Detour was born out of a natural process of famous creators already using the notebooks and other creators exchanging images on their beloved Moleskine notebooks. From this came the idea to create an archive through which share notebooks in which famous creators have freely expressed themselves.

With Moleskine's City Notebooks as well as travel writer Bruce Chatwin as a devotee of the "legendary notebook", there exists already the idea of "travel" in Moleskine's roots, making a traveling exhibition a natural extension of the project.

Moleskine's relationship with the NPO lettera27 is also a natural outgrowth of the notebooks role as the tool of some of the world's great intellectuals.

Moleskine has had an ongoing relationship with MoMA including the myDetour exhibition in 2007. As Tokyo's MoMA design store is an outpost of the MoMA New York and as such it is a global cultural icon that has a strong resonance with the goals of the exhibition.

Detour - in literal meaning
Detour literally defines a diversion from the known and usual routes. It is going off the tracks, a denial of the ordinary. Contrary to static approach of exhibiting, it has visited London, Paris, New York, Berlin and Istanbul yesterday. Today's stop is Tokyo. Detour is taking a short cut amidst a long path...It is a meeting and interaction with new faces and different cultures on its long winding route. It is touching and feeling the exhibited works with your own hands. It is making both a long story and a meandering route short, on the path to the enrichment of universal creativity by sharing.

Direct Contact With Creators' Ideas
Visitors can leaf through notebooks at their own pace and can have a close feeling with the ideas and creative process of creators from around the world. Past shows included notebooks by such creative personalities as Christian Lacroix, Lou Reed, Spike Jones, Terence Conran, Alessandro Mendini, Massimiliano Fuksas, and Sigur Ros.

myDetour: A Show in which Anyone Who Loves to Create Can Participate

myDetour is a traveling exhibition that takes place together with Moleskine's Detour exhibitions. Anyone who loves to paint, take photos, illustrate, write or create freely can participate and win the opportunity to have his work displayed together with the world-class creators displayed as part of the next Detour exhibition (next exhibition site to be determined).

Those who wish to participate may do so from October 16th to November 4th, 2009 at Aoyama Book Center, NADiff a/p/a/r/t, Spiral Records, Tsutaya Sangenjaya, Cibone Aoyama.

Participants will find special myDetour collecting boxes where to drop their personal notebooks. All the notebooks submitted will permanently join the lettera27 archive. The ten most innovative notebooks from selected by the jury will travel and be put on public display at the next myDetour event.

myDetour is also a permanent online exhibition where the whole campaign is constantly updated. myDetour initiative runs alongside the Detour Exhibitions, travelling displays of notebooks by writers and artists of international renown, organized by Moleskine in various cities worldwide in support of the non-profit foundation lettera27 (

In addition to being able to submit your own notebooks at these bookstores, there will also be an exhibition of past myDetour submitters with a notebooks from a different city at each store. Exhibiting notebooks from each city in a different location gives visitors the chance to experience a real 'detour' to world cities while visiting the different Tokyo shops. At Cibone notebooks from myDetour New York will be shown, Berlin is at Nadiff, Paris at Spiral, Milan and Rome at Aoyama Book Center and Istanbul at Tsutaya.

Exhibition Organizers: lettera27 & Moleskine

lettera27 is a non-profit foundation born in July 2006 and based in Milan. Its mission is to support the right to literacy, education, and expand the access to knowledge and information throughout the world and especially in the most deprived areas. The Detour and myDetour exhibitions are held in support of the non-profit foundation lettera27. The artists donate their participation and their notebooks to lettera27. The Detour archive is an archive which constantly creates resources to support new projects. The artists who join Detour support lettera27 with their creativity and their work. The notebooks donated are part of lettera27 collection and archive, they are permanently exhibited online and they participate in the Detour international shows. lettera27 collaborates with Moleskine within the Detour and myDetour projects, and Moleskine grants the foundation a yearly financial support.

The notebooks are a very important patrimony: thanks to the support of prominent artists, architects, film directors, graphic designers, illustrators, and writers, lettera27 has gained great visibility and it has presented its work in international venues. At the moment the notebooks have never been sold or exhibited outside the Detour shows. lettera27 is the 27th letter, the missing letter, the letter that is not yet, the hybrid letter, the empty box, the link between oral and written words, the connection to the future, the intersection between the analog and digital.

Since 2006, lettera27 has been organising meetings, conferences and events during Festivaletteratura in Mantua, the most important literary festival in Italy. In particular in 2007 the foundation has organised five WikiAfrica Workshops to create on-site and in real time new Wikipedia articles based on a collaborative writing process that took place both on-and off-line. Accordingly, the meetings managed to concretely enact the process and functionality of the most used Internet encyclopedia. lettera27 is member of ASA-African Studies Association, ACASA-Art Council of the African Studies Association and LitCam, the literacy campaign network promoted by the Frankfurt Book Fair.

Moleskine notebooks Culture, imagination, memory, travel, personal identity. Moleskine is a brand identifying a family of notebooks, planners and travel guidebooks: versatile and essential companions both in everyday life and for special occasions, becoming an integral part of each of us. The Moleskine brand was born in 1997, celebrating the legendary notebook of great artists and thinkers of the past two centuries, from Vincent Van Gogh to Pablo Picasso, from Ernest Hemingway to Bruce Chatwin. The anonymous black notebook was a trusty, pocket-sized travel companion, a faithful keeper of sketches, notes, stories and tips before they became famous pictures or pages of well-loved books. Today, Moleskine accompanies the creative efforts and the imaginary of our time: it is a symbol of modern-day nomadism, closely connected with the digital world through a network of websites, blogs, online groups and virtual archives.

Moleskine Srl
Since January 1, 2007 Moleskine is also the name of the company which manufactures and distributes the legendary notebook and its many descendants. Moleskine srl creates, produces, and distributes the well-known notebooks and their various offshoots.

Cooperating Partners

MoMA Design Store
[Profile of MoMA Design Store Tokyo (received from MoMA). Discusses history of MoMA, where are MoMA Design Stores in the world, when did the shop open, how big it is, and what kind of products they offer.]

Raffaella Guidobono
Raffaella Guidobono is the curator of the Detour exhibition project. She is working as a visiting professor at the Isufi and Domus Academy in Italy. She has widely shown throughout Europe and the US, in cooperation with foreign Embassies, Art Foundations and Galleries. She lives between Italy and Latin America.

Zetalab designed the Detour and myDetour exhibition system, as well as all graphics and videos. Based in Milan, Zetalab is a brand and communication design agency that develops successful projects for companies, products and institutions. Some of its members are active in teaching in Italian universities and design schools.

2009/10/16 - 2009/11/4
Entrance: free
Content: Exhibition of Moleskine notebooks used for free expression by leading creators from Japan and around the world. Visitors can leaf through creators' notebooks at their own pace.
Location: MoMA Design Store, Gyre Building 3F, 5-10-1 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku

2009/10/16 - 2009/11/4
Entrance: free
Content: Visitors can enter Moleskine notebooks they have decorated for a chance to be selected for the next Detour/myDetour exhibition. Notebooks from past myDetour exhibitions are shown.
Location: Aoyama Book Center, NADIF a/p/a/r/t, Cibone, Spiral Records, Tsutaya Sangejaya

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