A distorted image by Corinne Vionnet Courtesy Danziger gallery

V&A Dundee’s 2024 exhibitions revealed

For immediate release: 23 November 2023

Free-to-use images

Exhibitions on the fashion of the kimono, an exploration of city photography, Dundee’s history told through a giant tapestry, and the joy of BBC Radio 1’s Big Weekend will be shown at V&A Dundee in the next 12 months.

Kimono: Kyoto to Catwalk (4 May 2024 – 5 January 2025, ticketed) is the major exhibition at V&A Dundee next year, presenting the kimono as a dynamic and constantly evolving icon of fashion, revealing the sartorial, aesthetic and social significance of the garment from the 1660s to the present day, both in Japan and the rest of the world. The exhibition reveals this iconic garment in a new light.

Photo City: How Images Shape the Urban World (opens 29 March 2024, free) will delve into the V&A’s spectacular collections to show how photography shapes the way we understand, build and experience our cities. The exhibition explores how photographs are powerful tools that not only document the city, but also help us to project and design future cities and new ways of living together.

Dundee Tapestry (opens 20 January 2024, free) is a collaborative project which has brought together members of the Dundee community through stitching groups, social networks and in-person events. The result is a fascinating and captivating image of Dundee on 35 large, beautifully hand-stitched panels. This new exhibition is the first time that all of the completed tapestries will be shown together.

Radio 1 will return to Dundee for the first-ever Big Weekend exhibition – Radio 1’s Big Weekend Experience (opens 1 December 2023, free). The exhibition will take a deep-dive into Radio 1’s Big Weekend 2023 in Dundee showcasing highlights from across the weekend with contributions from Dundee-based community groups and partners, the performers themselves, and Radio 1 listeners who have been asked to donate their cherished festival memorabilia, photos and items.

Leonie Bell, Director of V&A Dundee, said: “We are happy to unveil a programme of exhibitions that bring activity and energy to V&A Dundee’s spaces in new ways, telling design stories about the ways we live through fashion, photography, architecture and cities, Dundee’s history and present, and music and pop culture. We will have more free activity on display than ever before.

“Kimono: Kyoto to Catwalk is our major exhibition for 2024. It takes visitors on an incredible journey through the fashion, cultural and social significance of this Japanese icon that has been embraced around the world. Kimono: Kyoto to Catwalk is a V&A fashion exhibition that will delight, having special resonance being staged within the Japanese-inspired architecture of V&A Dundee.

“Photo City: How Images Shape the Urban World looks at how photography shapes our understanding of cities and how many people live closely together. The exhibition connects famous images of New York and Paris with 19th century Glasgow, 21st century Dundee and the current struggle to preserve historical landmarks in Ukraine through 3D scanning.

“We are all particularly pleased to be showing all 35 completed panels of the Dundee Tapestry together for the very first time, a collaborative project involving over 140 local volunteer stitchers, and to be welcoming back BBC Radio 1 to celebrate the joy of pop music at V&A Dundee after the hugely successful Big Weekend this summer.

“All of this will take place alongside the Scottish Design Galleries with its new objects on display and Stories from the Building that offers visitors from near and far a chance to sit and learn about the ideas that underpin V&A Dundee’s architecture and design.”

Further information:

Kimono: Kyoto to Catwalk (4 May 2024 – 7 January 2025, ticketed)

Rare 17th and 18th century kimono are displayed together with fashions by major designers and iconic film and performance costumes. The kimono’s recent reinvention on the streets of Japan is also explored through work by an exciting new wave of contemporary designers and stylists.

Kimono: Kyoto to Catwalk has been curated for the V&A by Anna Jackson and Josephine Rout. V&A Dundee is the last location on its European tour and the last chance to see these objects together.

Photo City: How Images Shape the Urban World (opens 29 March 2024, free)

Iconic images by some of the most lauded and acclaimed photographers in history – from Henri Cartier-Bresson in Paris to Thomas Annan photographing 19th century Glasgow – will sit alongside the work of contemporary artists. Their work explores an array of visual imaging technologies that expand our everyday understanding of photography and cities, including 3D scans of Ukrainian heritage sites created following Russia's invasion.

Sohei Nishino has been commissioned to create a large-scale photographic diorama of Dundee; the newest addition to his Diorama Map series which includes cities such as Tokyo, London, Amsterdam, San Francisco, Rio de Janeiro and New Delhi. These works fuse the micro with the macro – zooming into the intricate details of a city whilst also revealing the shapes of the urban sprawl.

Photo City: How Images Shape the Urban World is co-curated by V&A Dundee and V&A South Kensington to celebrate Dundee’s Decade of Design, the 10th anniversary of Dundee’s designation as the UK’s only UNESCO City of Design. Sohei Nishino’s commission is supported by the Daiwa Anglo-Japanese Foundation and the Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation.

Dundee Tapestry (opens 20 January, free)

As Dundee looks forward, the Dundee Tapestry reveals the city’s past, present and future through eight illustrative themes. From the mid-19th century to where we are now, these themes explore the city’s industrial heritage, its creative achievements, its biodiversity, its future industries and its people.

The project was conceived and developed by John Fyffe MBE of the Weaver Incorporation of Dundee, one of the city’s Nine Incorporated Trades, and Dr Frances Stevenson, senior lecturer at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design. The panels were co-designed by Dr Stevenson and Andrew Crummy MBE, the artist behind the Great Tapestry of Scotland.

A stitching team of over 140 volunteer stitchers from Dundee and the surrounding area have been working on the panels since the spring of 2022, and many are practising these skills for the first time. Together, they are collaborating to tell Dundee’s unique story, stitch by stitch. A small group of the tapestries was shown at V&A Dundee in 2023.

The Dundee Tapestry is supported by The Nine Trades of Dundee, The Northwood Trust, The Guildry of Dundee, Rotary Club of Dundee, William S Philip Trust, Walter Craig's Trust and Don & Low.

Radio 1’s Big Weekend Experience (1 December 2023 to 7 January 2024, free)

Radio 1 are also working with V&A Dundee’s Learning Team to create a virtual version of the exhibition which will be available online as well as an accompanying exhibition Audio Guide hosted by Greg James and Arielle Free which will be available on BBC Sounds from 1 December.

In the lead up to the launch of Radio 1’s Big Weekend Experience the station will be in Dundee with Arielle Free broadcasting live on Monday 27 November.