"The Unseen: A Precursor" forms part of Artisan Singapore 2021. Artisan Singapore is a platform to Discover Fashion Through Art. Visitors to the online gallery can explore emerging contemporary artists using art, photography, performance and decorative art as their medium of choice.
A precursor to an in-person multidisciplinary exhibition to be held later in the year, "The Unseen" has been created to support two important ambitions. Firstly, the exhibition aims to raise awareness, encourage self-reflection and to start urgent conversations about the impact of fashion on an increasingly fragile ecosystem. Secondly, to raise enough funds to commission the featured artists to fully explore their chosen practice and create new work for the physical event.
Fashion is an articulation of complex systems always at play. From the public (policy, commerce, civil society), to the private (status, gender and self-identification) our values and allegiances are always on display. Understanding fashion as a system requires inference, evaluation, analysis, interpretation and reasoning. These skills are usually only applied in the socio-political structures of commerce, art and media, but are rarely employed when considering what we purchase. By looking beyond the visible, we can attempt to dismantle consumer ignorance and apathy by provoking reflection and encouraging investigation into the interaction between art, fashion and our environment. In this way, 'the seen' can shine a light on 'the unseen'.
The artists chosen to participate in this exhibition explore various points of articulation - either through individual identity and personal agency or through "seeing" what so often remains unseen. This is evidenced through the visual subjects or themes they feature, or by questioning the materiality of their own practice, or the nature of the very medium they have chosen to work in. Artisan invites visitors to the exhibition to pause and consider the artist's creative expression and how it might lead to a deeper engagement and questioning of their own relationship with the environment, beyond simply absorbing the surface pleasure of consumption.
Artisan Singapore 2021 hopes to build on the success of the first Artisan event; held on Friday 29 November and Saturday 30 November 2019 at TENCEL™ Studio, Level 3 The Cocoon Space, Design Orchard. Visitors enjoyed a unique, hybrid experience fusing fashion with fine art, photography, performance and dance. The event was supported by the Textile And Fashion Federation (TAFF).