SINGAPORE — Famous couturière Guo Pei, whose canary gown was worn by singer Rihanna at the previous 2015 The MET Gala, has collaborated with the Asian Civilisations Museum to present 29 of her exquisite detailed dresses.
Themed ‘Guo Pei: Chinese Art and Couture’, the exhibition will open the museum’s Season of Chinese Art, which will explore the best of the genre presented for a contemporary, international audience. With 20 Chinese art masterpieces from the Museum’s collection and dresses by Guo Pei, this exhibition spans two galleries and is part of the museum’s commitment to examine the diverse cultural heritage of Asia, interconnections within Asia, and Asian connections with the rest of the world.
Mr Kennie Ting, Director of Asian Civilisations Museum and Peranakan Museum, explains, “‘Guo Pei: Chinese Art and Couture’ is significant to our visitors for two reasons. It is our first special exhibition dedicated to fashion and is representative of our shift to the contemporary domain. Our aim is to make a point as to how heritage and tradition are very much relevant to the contemporary; that heritage and tradition can be remarkably sexy and alluring.
Every masterpiece in the exhibition is a unique blend of contemporary and traditional design, material and craft. Second, the exhibition has been designed to give visitors a simple and visually arresting overview of Chinese art history – imperial art, export art, and folk art. We wanted a show that would introduce visitors to aspects of Chinese art – materials like silk and porcelain, the craft of embroidery, motifs like peonies and phoenixes – in a completely unexpected and, hopefully, very memorable fashion.”
The main exhibition space features three sections. In ‘Gold is the Colour of my Soul’, Guo Pei’s signature yellow and gold works reflect the historical significance of colour, techniques, and materials strongly associated with imperial China.
Through ‘China and the World’, Guo Pei’s hybrid designs parallel Chinese export art in blending Chinese imagery creatively with Western silhouettes and tailoring.
In ‘Treasured Heirlooms: Chinese Bridal Dress’, Guo Pei’s works continue and modernise traditional Chinese bridal style, with strong Peranakan connections; and they have found relevance with celebrity brides today, including Angelababy, Liu Shi Shi, and Tang Yan.
See behind-the-scenes photos from the exhibition below.
Guo Pei: Chinese Art and Couture will be open from now to 15 September 2019 at the Asian Civilisations Museum. Admission charges apply. For more information, please visit www.acm.org.sg.