We often overlook our shopping behaviors as being important historical records to the development of the human race. Whether in regards to trends, the materials that were used, the designs, or the products that were developed, they all hold the power in reflecting different social and economical events in the past. They are also strongly connected to artistic movements and artisan techniques.
Seeing world history through fashion, New World’s K11 Art Mall in Shanghai is presenting their latest exhibition, Bagism, which investigates and encourages a “dialogue between contemporary art and historical fashion”. The name, which was taken from John Lennon and Yoko Ono, who first coined the term in 1969, pays tribute to the two creatives as well as trying to “represents the new form of ideology behind the convergence of bags and contemporary art”.
By focusing on the ideas of art, people, and nature; 300 bags from a timeline of 400 years are displayed alongside contemporary art pieces by 15 different artists (Namely He Cairou, Hu Weiyi, Li Shuang, Liang Yuanwei, Liao Yijun, Luo zhixin, Jin Shan, Peng Wei, Wang Haoran, Wang Enlai, Wang Sishun, Yu Ji, Xu Zhen, Zhang Enli and Zhaoyao). Consisting of four topics– history, feminism, celebrity and art, bags including the “Hermès bags used by Grace Kelly, personal bags of the fashion legends Elsa Schiaparelli and Yves-Saint Laurent, bags designed by Coco Chanel, precious designs from the luxury houses of Dior, Louis Vuitton and Prada, and also collections from socialites such as Jane Birkin and Carina Lau” are exhibited.
Adrian Cheng, the cultural entrepreneur and the mastermind behind this project, has invited French curator Elisabeth Azoulay and Chinese curator Penny Liu to help co-curate the exhibition. Not to mention, fashion editor in chief and curator Shaway Yeh is also on the team, acting as the consultant for the show. On top of the exhibition, seminars, workshops and lectures are also being hosted.
Bridging the gap between historical handbags and Chinese contemporary art by adhering to the philosophy and the exquisite craftsmanship, this exhibition is a very interesting journey anyone to enjoy.
We are all in the same bag!
July 15 to Oct 9, 2016
chi K11 art museum: B3, K11 Art Mall, Huaihai M Road, Huangpu District, Shanghai