The exhibition shows a collection of installations created by Xi in 2014, which she applies clothing as a medium to bridge between art and design via a unique language. Titled Grand Design, the exhibition aims to call for a spirit of non-action, that is, to remove those ready-to-wear art experiences and to create a piece of art “which has never been done before”.
Since genesis, clothing has been seen as a sign of social status. When Adam and Eve took a pair of fig leaves to cover their naked body, the first piece of clothes was born. The material of fig determined its ephemeral functions as season changes; therefore God has bestowed them clothes made of animal sacrifice. Later, clothes have marked the transition of natural men to social men, reveals the occupation, gender and social status of individuals. As British intellectual Joanna Entwistle puts in The Fashioned Body, “It is the body that fashion speaks to and which is dressed in almost all social situations and encounters. ” Day after day, they become part of the human history, inheriting the memories of the nation, tracing back the tides of the time, that is to see the world in a grand of sand, to pass through a century by the trend of fashion.
As a crossover researcher who studies fashion, design and art, Xi regards much importance of the process of re-design. Throw away has been a daily behavior that has influenced our understanding of fashion as well our attitude towards design. She bases “Grand Design” on the collective emotions of“individuals and the city” that comes from the overlapping of various vintages. The “Demolition Campaign” is eliminating the landscape and characters of the old Shanghai, while the “Sustainable development” speeds up the city’s future, but at the same time it also disintegrates its history and culture legacies.
From a micro point of view, Xi combines the “old relationship” with the “new relationship” in the city and turns them into a language of installation, thus becoming “public art” that demonstrates the changes of the city of Shanghai. Following her exhibit map, in each piece, the viewers will easily find the connection of “location”, “memory” and “emotion”, and the social role that fashion has played throughout the exhibition.
Tracking the history of clothing is to show its initial appearance before its being designed, while discarding the attempt of design or creation is to return to the cosmos which is cycling and well arranged revolving and rotating as if they have never been designed or too well designed.
Xi, born in Shanghai in 1988, graduated from Mixed Design, Shanghai Institution of Visual Arts. In 2012, she studied Design Future in Goldsmith in U.K for MFA degree. Now she lives and works in Shanghai.