Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Li Xiaofeng Knows His Clothes

LACOSTE challenged Chinese artist Li Xiaofeng to create two different Polo shirts for the 2010 Holiday Collector’s Series. For both, he had to adapt his work methods slightly. 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, symbolizing 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.

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(Above) China forbids the export of ancient artifacts including porcelain shards, so for the
Porcelain Polo art work, Li decided to use new shards so that the piece could eventually be shipped out of the country. Inspired by the early Ming Dynasty (1368 -1644 AD), he painted porcelain bowls with images of a scholar contemplating a scenic landscape surrounded by an orchid, bamboo, chrysanthemum and plum blossom. He chose to use under-glazed red in addition to the quintessential Ming blue and white. Red represents blood and life force.

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(Above) It took
Xiaofeng three full months to paint, fire, fragment, shape, polish, and finally link together the 317 shards to create the Porcelain Polo, which is the most expensive and most exclusive LACOSTE polo to date. The Porcelain Polo was unveiled in Paris last June, and later exhibited at the Musée des Arts et Métiers. Finally, the work will be shown in Bejing this fall at Li Xiaofeng’s first one-man show organized by the Red Gate Gallery, the first private contemporary art gallery to be established in China.

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(Above) Li Xiaofeng sits with two of his extraordinary works.

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Via here.


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