24 Artists Reimagine Gucci’s New Painting-Inspired Print
From the Song Dynasty into the Instagram Dynasty.
In 10th century China, flowery Buddhist traditions and zoological Chinese ones came together to form a style known as Bird and Flower painting. With a new print and #guccigram initiative, Gucci has updated the style from the Song Dynasty into the Instagram dynasty,
24 artists, all from Asia, were tasked with using the Tian print, inspired by Bird and Flower paintings, in an original work made for Instagram. Historically, westerners were introduced to Chinese art through appropriative, out of context styles like Chinoiserie. By tasking Asian artists with using the Tian print, Gucci claims to bring these traditions home to their original sources while updating them for the 21st century.
The “remixes,” as they’re called, are contemplative and beautiful images that integrate the Tian print into art, rather than branded handbags. We picked a few of our favorites and rounded them up below.
Cao Fei is buzzing in New York right now because of her show at PS1. For her #guccigram, she hung a pair of Tian-printed briefs from a flowering tree, set against an industrial concrete wall, contrasting ideas of tradition with modernity.
Illustrator Phannapast Taychamaythakool created a few colorful, delightfully silly portraits of animals (and in this case, insects) wearing the Tian print.
Q-TA used the Tian print as content for an eerie collage that subverts the visual language of fashion and advertising photography.
Animator Shinyoung Kim created this graphic video for the project, taking apart the Tian print and using its individual elements in this kaleidoscopic short.
The edgy Chen Tianzhuo brought the Tian print into his reality, painting a monkey from the print onto an image of himself in costume for a performance he staged at the notorious nightclub Berghain, as part of Berlin’s CTM festival.
See the full collection of works here.
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