in Collaborations | 07 MAR 23

Erika Kobayashi’s White Day Souvenirs

The artist and writer reveals what giving means to her by sharing memories of the most precious gift exchanges

in Collaborations | 07 MAR 23
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Marking Frieze’s first art fair in Asia, the new video series ‘A Year of Gifts’ traces a calendar of celebrations from Korea’s Chuseok to Diwali’s ‘festival of lights’, exploring the relationship between tradition, gift-giving and creativity.

White Day is celebrated in Japan exactly a month after Valentine’s Day, as an opportunity for those who have received gifts to give gifts in return. Tokyo-based writer and artist Erika Kobayashi remembers friends at her all-girls school exchanging ‘sweet, delicious food between us’ on this day: as adults, her friends turned instead to giving each other greeting cards, or handmade books they made themselves. Today, one of the most prized possessions in Erika Kobayashi’s Tokyo apartment is her father’s photo album, which she received as a young girl. Like imagining about what dessert another person likes, giving and receiving gifts, Kobayashi says, is a sign of the desire to know someone more deeply. ‘To me,’ she reflects, ‘this is something precious’.

For Jo Malone London, the gift of fragrance is the gift of memories. Discover more at 

Watch the rest of the series and explore Seulgi Lee’s Chuseok and Jeremy Chan's Lunar New Year traditions here.