⟨ Art ⟩

Between Photography and Fashion

Beyond Fashion

Words / Elva Pang
Translation / Iris Heung

把「攝影」放在「時裝」之後,猶如把時裝的想像作無限的伸延,若把時裝理解為當下流行的衣服,而攝影是一種記錄,時裝攝影則是記錄當下的時裝,不過事實往往遠超於此。

於ArtisTree舉行、名為《Beyond Fashion》的攝影展覽,展出超過100件時裝攝影及錄像作品,由48位著名攝影師和新晉藝術家操刀,有世界級的攝影師Nick Knight、Peter Lindbergh、Miles Aldridge和Sølve Sundsbø,以及新晉攝影師Erik Madigan Heck、Ina Jang、Feng Li和Viviane Sassen等,一系列經典前衛的時裝照片早已超越時裝的層面,不但是一場視覺的衝擊,同時打開了藝術、文化的歷史之門,一窺不同時代的時裝與攝影藝術的表現。

When we talk about the term “fashion photography”, the part “photography” seems to serve as an extension that helps to manifest an even greater imagination on fashion. Fashion is the trending style of the outfit while photography is the means of documentation. At the most superficial level, fashion photography can be seen as the means to document fashion. However, the relationship of the two goes way beyond that.

The Beyond Fashion photography exhibition at ArtistTree is showcasing over 100 pieces of fashion photography and videography by 48 renowned photographer and up-and-coming artists. Visitors will have a chance to see the works of celebrated photographers Nick Knight, Peter Lindbergh, Miles Aldridge, and Sølve Sundsbø. Alongside are the works by a new generation of talented photographers such as Erik Madigan Heck, Ina Jang, Feng Li, and Viviane Sassen. The avant-garde fashion photography has exceeded the boundary of fashion and created a stunning feast of visual stimulation. It guides the viewers to explore the art, culture, and history of fashion and shows them a glimpse of the representation of fashion and art photography at different times.

令人最興奮的是SHOWstudio創辦人Nick Knight為展覽揭幕,在2000年、Youtube和Social Media未興起的年代,Nick已成立SHOWstudio以錄像去表現時裝和直播時裝展,率先地把時裝推向數碼化。他分享Alexander McQueen於2009年最後一次參與的fashion Show “Plato’s Atantis”,由SHOWstudio現場直播,並得到三百多萬人次觀看。「這為時裝帶來翻天覆地的改變,時裝展成為了一種娛樂,我們正身處不斷轉變的環境中。」自此,遠在世界另一端也能透過螢光幕即時觀看時裝展。「時裝攝影是反映社會的產物,不但能見證著世界的改變,也見證歷史與文化的變遷。時裝賦予人力量,我們能選擇穿些什麼,或是以時裝去塑造自我的風格。」展覽中的每一張時裝照,都充滿著無法言喻的感染力,超越時裝層面,成為一種藝術語言。

With Nick Knight, founder of SHOWstudio.com, opening the exhibition, this is unquestionably an exciting event not to be missed. Before YouTube and social media gained any popularity, Knight was already a pioneer in bringing fashion into the digital age. Back in the year 2000, he founded SHOWstudio.com where he used video as the medium to present the world of fashion. On SHOWstudio.com, Knight also tried to live-stream fashion shows. When he streamed Alexander McQueen’s final show Plato’s Atlantis in 2009 on SHOWstudio.com, over three million viewers were attracted to watch it online. “This has radically changed the world of fashion. Fashion shows have since then become a form of entertainment. We are currently situated in an ever-changing environment.” From this point on, with the help of the computer screen, the physical location has stopped hindering one from watching a fashion show live. “Fashion photography is a representation of the society itself. It witnesses the changes as seen in the world as well as the changes in history and culture. Fashion can be empowering — we can choose what to wear, we can as well shape our own style through fashion.” Every single piece of exhibited fashion photography exudes inexplicable power; these photos have gone beyond fashion to become an artistic language itself.

Alexander McQueen, Snakes by Nick Knight, 2009

《Beyond Fashion》展覽的策展人Nathalie Herschdorfer 是一個藝術史學家,她利用了歷史的角度分析Nick Knight的作品Alexander McQueen, Snakes:蛇是神話象徵,意義多變,又經常和女性相扣;觀眾無法知道相中女性是強大的女神或是邪惡的魔女,營造出曖昧又神秘的氣氛。相片如油畫般,充滿文藝復興以至Gustav Klimt畫作的影子。展覽亦有由SHOWstudio製作的30輯影片,帶來不同的視覺體驗。

The curator of Beyond Fashion, Nathalie Herschdorfer, is herself an art historian. She, therefore, tried to analyze Knight’s Alexander McQueen, Snakes from a historical perspective. Snake is a mythical symbol that represents multiple meanings with a feminine connotation. The artist did not explicitly connect the female figure in the photography to a mighty goddess or a wicked witch; all he did was to compose an ambiguous and mystical vibe. At first glance, one may mistake the photography as an oil on canvas painting. It was staged in a Renaissance style and in some way even resembles the paintings of Gustav Klimt. In addition to photography, SHOWstudio.com also produced 30 videos for the exhibition which aim at giving the viewers an alternative visual experience.


 

Elena in Gaultier, Numéro #91 by Sølve Sundsbø, 2007

拍時裝錄像出身的Sølve Sundsbø相信錄像比相片更符合網上世界的需要,對錄像的著迷,驅使他拍攝的時裝相片都充滿了動感,著名的作品《Elena in Gaultier》猶如把24格的菲林都濃縮在一張相片之中,呼應了〈Invitation à la danse〉的主題。

The fashion video artist Sølve Sundsbø believes that when compared to photography, video is, in fact, a better medium to suit the digital age. The passion for video art has prompted Sundsbø to bring rich elements of motion into his photography. His iconic work Elena in Gaultier appears as if he has consolidated 24 frames into one. The way this photo shoot captures movements undoubtedly complements the title Invitation à la danse.


 

Untitled 099 from Roxane II series by Viviane Sassen, 2018

場內唯一不是放在相架內的作品,荷蘭當代攝影師Viviane Sassen的《Roxane II》系列,以兩支纖幼的釘固定,感覺隨意又親切。模特兒Roxane由2012已開始成為Viviane的靈感來源及拍攝對象,相片表現一種親密、敏感又帶一點玩味的感覺。在相片的模特兒身上畫上鮮艷的顏料,增強視覺效果和情感的擴張,大膽的筆觸令作品更鮮明活潑。

The only exhibits that are not framed should be the Dutch contemporary photographer Viviane Sassen’s Roxane II series. The untitled works from this series are fixed on the wall with only two thin nails. This casual presentation makes her photography genuinely approachable for viewers. Ever since 2012, the model Roxanne has been the muse and subject of photography for Sassen. The photos with her as a model are intimate, delicate yet playful. The photos capture the model with colorful paint on her body. This arrangement has succeeded in intensifying the visual impact and magnifying the sensation. The bold depiction has made the works full of vital energy.


 

Dance. Hanatsubaki / Shiseido by Ina Jang, 2014

韓國的新世代攝影師Ina Jang採用簡約的風格,表達奇異怪誕又有詩意的感染力,作品創新獨特。相片中的模特兒雖被雙手遮蓋,主題的紅裙仍是清晰可見。Ina使用了剪裁、黏合及貼上現實生活中常見的物件,並以鮮艷的色彩碰撞出幽默趣味的影像。

The new generation Korean photographer Ina Jang takes a minimalistic approach to narrate her bizarre yet poetic world. Her photography clearly demonstrates her one-of-a-kind creativity. Jang’s collage works blend in everyday objects into her photography, together with the use of bright colors, she manages to create a world full of playful and humorous images.


 

COMME des GARÇONS by Erik Madigan Heck, New York Times Magazine, 2017

貴為新世代最才華橫溢的攝影師Erik Madigan Heck,14歲開始拿起相機拍攝,年紀輕輕已獲獎無數;他以個人獨特眼光解讀時裝,愛以高濃度的色彩來增強作品的感染力。這輯相使用了對比強烈的色彩與充滿詩意的構圖,完美地演繹了川久保玲建構的「抽象的形象」。

As one of the most up-and-coming photographers in the new generation, Erik Madigan Heck took up photography at the age of 14 and has been winning numerous awards ever since. Known for his unusual perspective to interpret fashion, his love for highly saturated hues has elevated his evocative images. The series has utilized colors of strong contrast with a poetic composition, as a perfect representation of the abstract form constructed by Rei Kawakubo.


Beyond Fashion
Date: 12 January – 24 February 2019
Time: 10 am – 8 pm (Monday to Sunday)
Venue: ArtisTree, 1/F Cambridge House, Taikoo Place, 979 King’s Road, Quarry Bay, Hong Kong