The obvious statement firstly is that my background and training in Fashion Design has never left me entirely, despite the fact that I've more or less established myself as an artist. The need to return to some form of 'fashion' in it's most casually used term is always something inevitable in my mind. The second statement is perhaps only obvious if you are currently my student, or have been in some type of class with me at the front talking passionately about Fashion Illustration. Fashion Illustration is an area of interest that I've always been interested in ever since I was about 7 years old. A fashion illustrator was what I would have liked to be when I grow up. Instead I took the route of the practical and studied Fashion Design, and Fashion Buying and Merchandising. I did the later for 10 years between New York and Singapore, and had enough in 2006. Eight years later, I am finally able to return in a small way or a big way, depending on your perspective, to producing something 'Fashion' focused.
The cotton jersey Kaftan you see in the exhibition, is the first piece of wearable work I produced since I left the business of fashion. That piece is a small homage to Gabriel Chanel for introducing cotton jersey to the world in the 1920's. It's a prototype or first trial of a clothing line I'd like to produce eventually. The direction of the Kaftan line is menacingly unclear because I wanted was to reproduce the illustration to something one can wear, something I can wear. The silhouette appeared quite regal despite the casual fabric. At the same time it's a humorous piece, who could take you seriously when you wear a bank note on your back? The silhouette is androgynous and gender-free.
The bank notes design idea first came from a frustration about money, and progressively, it turned a lot more complex then that. The questions I ask myself while producing them in the context of fashion is obvious at first, such as what is money in the context of art, and what is fashion in the context of art. Here are how I re-define those terms:
Money is a medium of exchange, of value and a medium that perpetuate capitalism and exploitation. The bank note has in some ways lost its inherent meaning of the past, which is as a promise to fulfil an agreement of exchange. According to some holistic practitioner such as Dr Maria Nemeth and Bruce Lipton, Money is Energy.
To me, Art is something that provoke our sense of curiosity, with the ability to educate and entertain a larger segment of people and Fashion is a tool to enhance an individual’s sense of self; that also endows the user or wearer with a particular emotion