With the initial impression they are paintings, Maria Svarbova’s works make you feel a sense of joyous melancholy. Subtly peculiar, Svarbova’s photo series, ‘Swimming Pool’ is a collective of well-painted photographs set amongst the functionalist archi- tectural remnants of Slovak communism. Minimalist in interior, with clean white tiles and reflective blue waters; what seems like a picturesque utopia is juxtaposed by the dullness of Svarbova’s subjects. Plain expressionless faces and repetitive actions – each one facsimile to the other – elements of surrealism are seen in her pictures, blurring the lines between fantasy and reality.
“When I first saw Maria Svarbova’s work, I thought they were paintings. But in actual fact, they were photos of real people and real sets. Although the colours in her photos are cheerful and bright, the overall mood is rather somber, lone- ly and somewhat silently eerie. The subjects she photographed are robotic fea- turing repetitive poses. I am very much intrigued by the tension between the real and fake; which is so strongly portrayed in her works. This brings me to a very current issue of how people of our generation is using social media to portray a seemingly perfect online persona whilst suffering from daily struggles that are masked by highly retouched photos, plastic surgeries etc.”
“The supremacy of pure artistic feeling” – the Russian abstract art movement made to be by Kazimir Malevich. The idea came about in 1913, using simple geometric shapes whilst being associated to ideas of spiritual purity. Heavily influenced by this concept, renowned architect, Zaha Hadid presented her designs alongside curated pieces of the Russian avant garde in an exhibition at the Galarie Gmurzynska, called Suprematism.
With Hadid’s recent passing, comes a collection that pays homage to the renowned architect and her many prominent works. Emulating the fluidity and movement of Hadid’s designs, CASSEY GAN decided to work with more curves and unique shapes in her latest collection – SUPREMATISM. Painting the collection with effervescent hues and vibrant shades, the collection was made to reflect Hadid’s optimism and female spirit in a male-dominant industry. Further emphasising that, non-form fitting silhouettes give off a sense of freedom and a quiet confidence to the female form.
The storage facility of the mind, where thoughts projected are archived to influence the actions of the future – or what we know as, ‘Memory’. Intrigued by the idea of how a person’s identity is constantly constructed and deconstructed through the notion of remembering, Mark Tan’s exhibition, “Arrangements” was one that inspired the creation of “One Door Shuts…”.
A collective timeline of previous experiences melded together to evoke emotion and spark creativity, CASSEY GAN takes us on a journey back to her past. From her days spent playing the trumpet in her school’s marching band, shapes and silhouettes are derived from that of military-inspired band costumes. With that, comes pinafore-style looks reminiscent of school girl uniforms.
Once a fashion student in search of creative identity, the designer revisits early influences like Jim Osman, Ted Larsen and Le Corbusier – with a clever use of checkers and vibrant colours. Experimenting with texture, different fabrics are layered to emulate the many complexities of the mind. Printed lace is also used to add a sense of femininity to her signature non-form fitting silhouettes.
A collaborative effort with artist, Mark Tan, bold, monochromatic prints are incorporated into the collection to bring forth a sense of nostalgia – whilst adding contrast to the designer’s inherently colour-centric aesthetic.