A fashion exhibition of ethnic minorities’ costumes titled “Tradition @ Present: Timeless Style of Chinese Ethnic Attire” was inaugurated at the art museum of Beifang University of Nationalities in Yinchuan, Ningxia, on November 28th, 2016.
This exhibition explores the relation of costume in pre-industrial period and modern fashion, reflects on the elitism discourse of fashion, and reconsiders the two seemingly opposite concepts of “tradition” and “present”, through about 150 sets of ethnic minorities’ costumes and ornaments, various ethnic groups’ materials and machines and tools for making clothes, and result of they mixing with modern costumes and ornaments.
The sign “@” here means link and position, with the meaning of calling as well, and reflects the coexistence across time and space. In this exhibition, this sign is used to show the complicated connection and interweaving of “tradition” and “modern time”.
This exhibition consists of four parts.
Audiences will see an article made by needlework, presenting thoughts about the origin of life. It also means to seek the dignity of life and ethics in sewing time, and to explore classics beyond its time in the history.
The space created in fabrics shows a three-dimensional perspective of nature, costume and human body. It also analyzes diverse ways of expression of the world through costumes. People can understand body and the world by dressing.
This part restores the long process of clothes. It explores ordinary people’s inventiveness embodied in simple tools, natural materials and sophisticated technology. Tradition and Modern ideas throughout technologies are retraced as well.
Modern fashion brand “Xixihere” is invited specially to offer matching design. Audiences get a possible approach to understand tradition in modern time by pictures of costumes in pre-industrial period and modern fashion fitting together and having their intrinsic advantages. Plus, students are invited to recreate tradition in modern way through the small space of interaction.
This exhibition is based on the vision of 21 century, and looks back on the real historical context between “tradition” and “present” through ethnic minorities’ costumes. And it attempts to inform those who want to create future: tradition is a starting point that can not be avoided.