"Beyond Fashion" at Beyond Art Space
Last week marked the opening of the Beyond Art Space's "Beyond Fashion" show in Beijing, running through December 11, which showcases specially commissioned fashion pieces designed in response to works of fine art. Eight participating artists are paired with eight participating fashion designers in an effort to display how fashion gleans inspiration from art. Sponsored by the Danish auction house Kopenhagen Fur, participating artists include Chen Jie, Chen Ke, He Sen, Li Hui, Li Wei, Peng Wei, UNMASK, and Wang Guangle, each represented by Beyond Art Space. Participating fashion designers include Dong Xiaoxiao, Fan Ran, Qiu Hao, Shangguan Zhe, Uma Wang, Vega Wang, Zhang Chi, and Zou You.
The intersection between fashion and art is one that continues to be explored in China as elsewhere, but in this exhibition there is a clear differentiation. The works created by participating artists served as inspiration for the designers, who then had to work within the construction parameters of fur, a particularly challenging material. Xu Ning, Executive Chief Editor of Bazaar Art, reflected on the show, saying, “In this exhibition, 'Beyond Fashion,' you will find that the fusion of the art is not in the fashion industry's ambitions,” and while artists work with inspiration behind the work, designers transform inspiration into a compatible fashion language.
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Meanwhile, other fashion-related shows are set to treat fashion as art and a source of inspiration as well. Events to keep an eye on include MoCA Shanghai’s “Culture Chanel” exhibition in January, as well as the recently announced retrospective exhibition to celebrate Hong Kong-based retailer Joyce’s 40th anniversary. “A Journey in Fashion.” This event, running at Hong Kong's Museum of Medical Science from December 8-31 before traveling to Shanghai in January and Europe for Paris Fashion Week, includes documents, film footage and taped interviews, as well as pieces from 55 fashion houses. Andrew Keith, Joyce Boutique President, describes the exhibition as reflecting not only the development of trends in fashion, but also “how Asia has grown and embraced the latest fashion innovation from around the world.”
The retailer will also be selling a series of exclusive products to celebrate the anniversary, including an Absolut Vodka bottle designed by Chinese artist Zeng Fanzhi, further blurring what can be defined as art.