“Made in China” Art / Porcelain Costumes by Li Xiaofeng
As opposed to antiglobalist supply chainers approach whose idea is constant blaming of Far East about copying, I want to grab attention to the creative edge of China. Lets accept Far East is not about copying or doing low-cost products . Unfortunately, current media is focusing on certain points of whole big territory and country, putting blame on “Made in China” product all the time considering the high pressure by the industry who are afraid of competition. What about the tremendous outcome of peculiar attention to work, seriousness and works of creative talent from that part of the world. Made in China certainly does not mean imitation or low quality. It is time to get rid of the cliché mind and open our eyes to see what is going on in Far East! In the Contemporary Art World…
Here is a very ironic sample of this talk Li Xiafeng who was commissioned by Lacoste to create two different polos for the 2010 Holiday Collector’s Series.
Li Xiaofeng is Beijing artist who creates porcelain clothing themed by chinese ceramics.
“Li Xiaofeng trained as a muralist but turned to sculpture to explore a new concept and expression of Chinese landscapes. His choice of material is unexpected; instead of marble, wood or even glass, he prefers buying shards of broken porcelain recovered from ancient archeological digs, some dating from the Ming Dynasty, and then shaping and polishing them, drilling holes into each corner and linking them together with silver wire to create ’rearranged landscapes’. It is fitting that these poetic pieces, which have been perhaps best described as ‘post-orientalism’, usually take the form of clothing, including traditional Chinese dresses and jackets as well as neckties and military uniforms. They are ultimately ‘wearable’ although certainly promise to be as heavy as any armour and would need a strong retinue of dressers to don and doff. “ Via Yatzer
The shards he is using on his work are coming from the Song, Ming, Yuan and Qing dynasties, which particular type of folk ceramics reflects the Imperial taste at that time. Within his Works there are women dresses, suit jackets and t-shirts out of ceramics.
He explains “My first piece using ceramic shards was a Mao jacket. The name of the piece was “Beijing Memories”. My idea was to distill this era to a new level through art.
photos by Miko He
Lia Xiaofeng describes the way he is creating work as follows ” Firstly, composing the piece is a process. I must reflect a lot about it. I must make a rough sketch, compose, reject it and start again. Sometimes, I straightaway use Plasticene or wire to create a model. After this, after confirming the period of the shards, I classify the colour of the patterns, then put together a rough arrangement of the shards, cut and polish each piece. This is a very repetitive process. I must pay close attention to the modelling as well as the original pattern colour of the shards. I then must weld the pieces and make the final adjustments.”
“For the limited edition printed polo, he chose blue and white shards with lotus and children designs from the Kangxi Period (1662 – 1772 AD) of the Qing Dynasty (1644 – 1911 AD). The lotus grows from mud underwater to emerge as a flower, symbolising purity and rebirth. Images of babies represent fertility, as during that period the high infant mortality rate meant that people decorated ceramics with babies hoping they would be blessed with children.” (Official press via Lacoste)
For his work for Lacoste, Xiaofeng shaped and polished the shards as usual, but instead of drilling holes and linking them with wire he photographed each (251 for the men’s polo and 304 for the women’s) and placed them one by one in a life-size digital pattern of the polo’s front, back and sleeves. He chose a dark blue ribbing for the collar and sleeves on the men’s polo and a light blue for women. The last touch was the addition of a white LACOSTE crocodile logo, the rarest breed in the brand’s collection. The printed Porcelain Polo is limited to 20,000 pieces for both men and women and comes packaged in a silk pouch stamped with the red seal LI XIAOFENG LACOSTE logo above. via Yatze
Li xiaofeng is exhibiting his work of porcelain costumes in various galleries in China and world.
His commisoned work is in the world tour traveling between Paris, Dubai and Beijing.