During my short business trip to Beijing, I went to check out the recent exhibition at UCCA (Beijing 798 Art District) “Christian Dior & Chinese Artists”, sadly the remarkably boring name doesn’t do the exhibition justice. It is the most elaborately put together high fashion brand history exhibition I’ve seen in terms of scale and style.
Showcasing Christian Dior couture pieces from 50’s to present time in a hall of mirrors and bamboo forest. Huang Rui’s “Timeless White Cloud” made up the heavy pearl curtained entrance with Chinese characters: “白”，“云”，“无”， “尽” (white, cloud, infinite, end), beautifully done but following visitors tend to get slapped by the pearls.
The separate rooms and the main hall are different aspects of Christian Dior as interpreted by Chinese artists. Xu Zhongming’s 3D stop frame animation like installation shows the process of a skeleton to a well-dressed lady. Represent the eternal cycle of Samsara.
My favourite was Zhang Huan’s gigantic horror baby sculpture, that made out of dead cow skins, secured with some really large staples. The dramatic creepiness dominated the main hall of the show, I kind of wish it is in a darker room that goes with the more theatrical couture collections.
“Hole in the Wall, Hope in the World” is also a really nice piece that created by artists Wen Fang, transferred prints from magazines, propaganda booklets, Chinese product catalog and newspapers on to bricks that made up a destructing wall…
We are doing a lecture in UCCA for China Central Academy of Art early January, more update soon…:)