Blending fashion and art seems, on the one hand logical and obvious, while on the other a restriction on the capabilities of the Artist. I went along to the “Fashion Salutes Art” exhibition last week to find out what the outcome of this blend would be.
Favotell, the organisation who put on the event, is a company that provides a platform for emerging designers and artists to give them a competitive standpoint in the UK and Chinese market place.
The premise of the exhibition was for the designers to create fashion pieces based on the Residents Artists’, Guang-Yu Zhang’s paintings, and what a magnificent creation it was. A cultural collision of the Western World and Chinese traditional culture, the works on show were a feast for the eyes and the imagination.
It was hard to believe all the paintings on show were from one person. The Artist Guang-Yu, had such variety in his work, I have seen in only few creatives in my life. His works provided the inspiration for which the designers then created their fashion design pieces from.
From interactive paintings that come to life right in front of your eyes when you scan a QR code, to paintings that show their true colours when viewed through the inverted colour setting on a smartphone, the art was truly captivating. Guang-Yu also had delicate and highly skilled classic paintings on show, which allows me to harp back to has unique ability to create numerous styles. While naturally this showed Guang-Yu’s skills it also made for an all encompassing exhibition. Young and old, creative types and techy passer-by’s there was something for everyone to enjoy, critique and inspire.
Rich, vibrant, energetic. Those are the words I would use to describe one of Guang’s most memorable paintings. A typical element from Chinese culture is a guardian lion which was portrayed via oil painting on canvas. An abstract vision of the symbol was created and the contrasting bright colours of pinkish red and baby blue along with the textural layering throughout made this image very evocative. A feeling of serenity pours over you as you look and engage with the piece.
Contrasting to this fun yet serene oil painting is the the Gold-Shark Series. In this series of paintings the artists draws from the fact that culture is a subjective experience, in which everyone’s experience is different. The paintings are set within a frame, which then seemingly overflows, almost as if bursting with passion out onto another canvas. The canvas which catches the overflow of passion is then framed to create a deeper set image which draws the eye in. The traditional Chinese images are trapped within the inner frame and classic Chinese colours of blood red and black are used too.
But the image shows its true effect and meaning when the QR code attached is scanned. The paint oozing out from the canvas as the fish once trapped in the frame flows out and escapes their box, which to me represents the traditional breaking the mould into the more liberal world. A thought provoking piece that screams to my senses and left me feeling as though this is the future of art.