Lin Tianmiao is considered one of today’s most notorious contemporary artists in China, especially among women who are under-represented there in her field. Her signature medium is everyday materials, particularly woven textile such as silk, which she uses to convey modern women’s frustrations and identity. This has earned her the “feminist artist” label, one that she rejects. Male or female, her cryptic and ethereal works have captured the imagination for decades. Her “Focus” portrait photo series is currently on view in the “Conceal/Reveal: Making Meaning in Chinese Art” group showing at Seattle Asian Art Museum (SAM).
Japanese fashion designer Masaya Kushino expresses his surrealist imagination through his sculptural footwear. His recent shoe-sculpture series, “Bird-Witched,” explores the transformation of a tall pump into a feathery creature. The sculpture series is currently on view in the Brooklyn Museum’s exhibition, “Killer Heels: The Art of the High-Heeled Shoe.” His other recent series, “Reborn,” examines the cyclical qualities of nature. With each successive piece in the series, we see a shoe overgrown with plant life wither, wilt, catch fire, and eventually flourish once again.
Russian paper-cut artist Asya Kozina recently created an ornate array of white wedding dresses inspired by Mongolian folkloric fashion designs. Though they resemble haute couture, the sculptural outfits are made entirely from paper. The St. Petersburg-based artist described the traditional Mongolian garments as “futuristic.” Her versions exaggerate their shapes and emphasize their geometric structure by removing the color. Kozina collaborated with photographer Anastasia Andreeva on a shoot featuring models donning her baroque pieces.
A recent graduate of the Shenkar College of Design, emerging Israeli fashion designer Noa Raviv has already made waves with the debut of her fashion collection “Hard Copy” — a project that brings cutting-edge architectural and sculptural techniques to haute couture. Raviv worked with 3D printing company Stratasys to develop digital models that would serve as the inspiration for her work. She purposely chose the defective 3D models her software generated — ones that would be too structurally unsound to actually 3D print — to inspire her clothing patterns. The artist says she was interested in the idea of turning something that only exists in the digital realm into a physical object, surpassing the limitations of the 3D printer with the human hand. Dominated by grids that encase organic patterns, the collection articulates humanity’s precarious position between nature and technology.
Chinese-born, London-based artist Jacky Tsai brings his fashion-world experience to his interdisciplinary art projects, which often fuse illustration, printmaking, sewing and sculpture. Tsai says that he is fueled by his contrasting experiences living in both Eastern and Western cultures. With his skull sculptures (or “Skullptures” as Tsai refers to them) and illustrations, the artist combines the morbid with the ornate. These symbols of death and decay become the sites of regeneration as flowers blossom on the skulls like moss — a juxtaposition Tsai uses as an antidote to his native culture’s superstitions about death.
At the intersection of fashion and sculpture you’ll find the wearable artwork of Copenhagen-based artist Nikoline Liv Andersen. “My work is expressive, living in the borderline between fashion and art with a big focus on textiles, textures and delicate details” Anderson said, describing her work. Many of Andersen’s designs challenge the purpose of ordinary materials, using them to create intricate works of art.