Raita Ishikawa's most recent project is entitled "Flashpoints (The World Conflicts T-Shirts Project)," and it explores the way in which even the simplest of garments can function as "fashion for thought."

The world is inundated with T-shirts imprinted with images of everything from rock bands, football stars, filmicons, and political idols to our favorite brand names, whether Coca-Cola or Harley Davidson. All of these are sold as mere fashion items. Ishikawa, however, uses the T-shirt as "a device to instigate thought." In "Flashpoints" he has taken a hundred white T-shirts and depicted on them a hundred different conflicts and other events that have taken place in the world. He wants to provoke our reaction by posing a question: can we as individuals continue to wear the T-shirt and still ignore the "message" branded on it?

We might therefore see the "World Conflicts T-Shirts Project" as a contemporary embodiment of Marshall McLuhan's notion that "the medium is the message."


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