Individual Project

Universal Kimono

Dat Bolwerck, Zutphen (NL)

ARK/Roosje Klap participates in the exhibition 'Turn Panic Into Magic' with 'Universal Kimono'.

Universal Kimono

ARK created a make-your-own kimono pattern, divided over the three flags, together forming the 30 articles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948). Almost seventy years ago, the alliance was constructed by the United Nations General Assembly, a crucial treaty, born from the experiences of the two World Wars. The "kimono", which actually means a "thing to wear" (ki "wear" and mono "thing”) is used here to embody and adopt the Four Freedoms—freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom from fear, and freedom from want—as basic aim of the free self, and is empowered by the fact that you have to make it yourself. By wearing the 30 articles, one embodies the right to live, show dignity and worth of other humans and promotes a universal respect for, and observance of, human rights and fundamental freedoms for all without distinction as to race, sex, language, or religion.

After the Biennial, the kimono went on tour with photographers and artists who give their interpretation of the Universal Declaration. The design of ‘The Universal Kimono’ was made available under Creative Commons as an open source, gender-free garment. Download the 3 flags yourself at, sew your kimono together and wear it.