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UAL Research Online

Mapping Motifs: An Exploratory Journey through Fashion, Cities and Identities

Ling, Wessie (2006) Mapping Motifs: An Exploratory Journey through Fashion, Cities and Identities. [Show/Exhibition]

Type of Research: Show/Exhibition
Creators: Ling, Wessie

While most fashion exhibitions are about chronologic and thematic presentation of clothes, fashion as a subject for the exploration of visual art practice has been little undertaken. This artist exhibition broadens the scope of visual-arts practice by situating fashion as a core practice.

This project explores the relations of fashion, cities and identities through a Chinese dress -the cheongsam. The cheongsam is not only central to the construction of Chinese identities, but also a popular inspiration for fashion designers from various cites. These fashion designers promote their interpretation of the cheongsam, lifting its Chinese origin for their affiliated city yet also assigning new identities to the dress. Through an interactive installation of 6 identical cheongsams each representing a different city, Mapping Motifs questions the identities of the cheongsam and their relation to fashion cities.

The project comprised an exhibition and two seminars. It engages audiences with or without a fashion and/or visual art background and allows them to experience fashion through the form of visual arts.

Additional Information (Publicly available):

Wessie Ling

Research Interests

Postcolonial theory, cultural production, identities, Asian fashion, fashion cities

Current Research

My research concerns identities with an emphasis on the discourse of cultural identities in the production of fashion. I am interested in the construction of identities, the expression and creation of an identity when producing fashion, the relation of such identity with one's locality and the tension within the industry in which it is produced. I have written on the engagement process of Paris-based Oriental designers, examining diasporic aesthetics that is born out of both the place and fashion system in which it is created.
My recent geographical focus on China has led me to publish a monograph (Fusionable Cheongsam 2007) and articles on how the identities of the Chinese dress have been constructed through its social and cultural history, popular culture and fashion production.
Further to the theme of identities is my practice-based research which draws on the relation between fashion, cities and identities, whereby fashion is acknowledged as a major social force and an interplay of consumer tastes, social habits and personal identities.
My installation aspires to consider how fashion represents our cultural selves and such liaisons within the society we inhabit. Projects being undertaken include Fusionable Cheongsam (2007), a solo exhibition at the Hong Kong Arts Centre which considers the dichotomous representations of the Chinese dress by means of a series of installations, and Game On: The World Fashion Conquest, a touring solo exhibition (Vienna 2007, London 2006) which inquires into the economic and cultural role that a homogenised fashion week serves beyond the fashion industry.

Your affiliations with UAL: Colleges > London College of Fashion
Date: 1 April 2006
Related Websites: http://www.wessieling.com, http://www.lifestyle.sg/articles/arts-and-culture_4/cheongsams-tale_243.htm, http://sites.a-n.co.uk/interface/reviews/single/368886
Related Websites:
Event Location: AVA Gallery, University of East London Seminars - UEL seminar TrAIN seminar, Chelsea School of Arts and Design
Date Deposited: 03 Dec 2009 22:32
Last Modified: 01 Sep 2010 13:56
Item ID: 1644
URI: https://ualresearchonline.arts.ac.uk/id/eprint/1644

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