How does fashion relate to wider culture, including art, design, architecture, science and history? The experimental fashion exhibition WUSINWUG – What U See Is Not What U Get, a side programme of the Contemporary Art and Design (ICAD) exhibition at Grandkemang Hotel, attempted to explore and present possible answers to this question.
Curated by creative worker and craftswoman Ika Vantiani, WUSINWUG displayed collections by prominent local artists and designers Anton Ismael (photography), Felicia Budi (fashion), Marishka Soekarna (visual art) and Tommy Ambiyo (fashion). Why the four were chosen was not a random decision. In fact, it was the diversity of their backgrounds that played a major role in injecting unique and artistic values to the project, according to Vantiani.
As part of the exhibition, Ismael directed a live fashion photo shoot that allowed the crowd to see with naked eyes what goes on behind the chaotic process. Two female models beautifully draped in his contemporary yet experimental designs posed among the crowd, at some point even lying down on the floor, as Ismael continued to snap pictures. The theme of his fashion show was chaos.
“I am not inspired by chaos but I believe in chaos, so let it be. [My fashion concept] is like playing with chaos. If you look carefully, chaos actually leads to order because through it, everything is connected. For instance, if you go through a traffic jam, you will see kilometres and kilometres of vehicles stuck in the traffic in front of you, unorganized. But when you move to a higher ground, it’s a different perspective altogether. You might actually be able to see certain patterns created by that traffic. All you need is sensitivity to be able to see all that,” said Ismael.
Another intention of the live gig was quite literal – that the fashion industry isn’t as glamorous as it seems. “It’s not easy and it’s all about trial and error. It takes a lot of hard work. The live photo shoot shows behind-the-scenes process of every photo, and how many people are involved in each picture. Most of us only see the final results which are the images already printed on fashion magazines, but we might have never seen the tedious creative process behind each of those images,” said Vantiani.
In addition to WUSINWUG, which lasted until 7 December, visitors could also gain access to dozens of paintings, sculptures, photos, even hand-made soap bars and welded steel arts as well as an array of out-of-the-box creations by local and international artists that were on display at the hotel. ICAD 2016 was presented by Yayasan Design+Art Indonesia and was supported by Badan Ekonomi Kreatif Indonesia (BEKRAF), Artura Insanindo, Mesa Hotel and Resorts as well as Grandkemang Hotel.