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Ying Gao

Ying Gao

area: Fashion

Key Facts






Montréal (Quebec)

recommending institution

freiraum quartier21 INTERNATIONAL

time period

April 2012 - May 2012

Montreal-based fashion designer and professor at UQAM, recipient of the Phyllis-Lambert Design Montréal Grant, Ying Gao questions our assumptions about clothing by combining urban design, architecture and multimedia.

She explores the construction of the garment, taking her inspiration from the transformations of the social and urban environment.

She is the only fashion designer included by the British magazine Wallpaper in its Canadian Top 40. Recognized worldwide, her designs are frequently shown in museums and galleries. Design is the medium, situated in the technological rather than in the textile realm. Sensory technologies allow garments to become more playful and interactive.

Ying Gao explores both the status of the individual, whose physical contours are transformed by external interferences, and the garment’s function as a fragile protective space. Her work testifies to the profound mutation of the world in which we live and carries with it a radical critical dimension that transcends technological experimentation.

2011. Ying Gao : Art, Fashion and Technology. Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec, Canada
2009. Five ways to tell a story about fashion by Ying Gao. [plug. in] Art Center, Kunst und neue medien, Basel, Switzerland
2007. Walking City et Indice de l’indifférence. Galerie Diagonale, Montréal, Canada. 

2011. International Fashion Art Festival in Hague. Netherlands
2011. Craft Meets Technology. Kentucky Museum of Art and Craft, Louisville, USA
2011. Noir. Atelier Punkt, Montréal
2010-2011. Mechanical Couture, Fashioning a New Order. Design Museum Holon, Israel
2010. International Fashion Art Biennale in Seoul. Hangaram design Museum, South Korea
2010. Glass fashion show - Contemporary Canadian Glass, Centre des sciences de Montréal
2010. PAP(I)ER FASHION. Museum Bellerive, Zürich, Switzerland
2010. CODE LIVE. Culture Olympiad, Vancouver
2009-2010. Biennale de créations textiles contemporaines. Musée des Tissus et des Arts décoratifs, Lyon, France
2008. Coefficients d’intimité. Centre Oboro, Montréal
2008. Elektra, Festival international d’arts numériques. Usine C, Montréal
2007. Vitrine du Québec en Flandre, défilé de mode collectif. ModeMuseum, Provincie Antwerpen (Musée de la mode d’Anvers) Belgium
2007. Frontières floues. Commissaires, Montréal
2007. Unravel Fashion Show. SIGGRAPH, San Diego, USA
2007. Connective tissue. Musée des maîtres et artisans du Québec, Montréal
2006. HAND - FACE - BODY. An Exhibition of Tactile Textiles. Gladstone Hotel, Toronto


no(where), now(here)

The use of the sham within the fashion system is at the core of the conception of the pieces in the series " no(where), now(here)"(working title). Two "sham" garments will allow the public to get a feel of the illusion and repetition that fuel the inner workings of the collection.

Two pieces of clothing; the first is made from a stiff material, it is visible from afar, in day or artificial light. The second is made using photoluminescent thread and pigment, it is visible close-up, in darkness.

The two pieces are suspended on a hanger, the first superimposed over the second. A proximity sensor connected to the lighting system detects the presence of the spectator; when he or she enters the room, the lights go on and the first piece is visible, when the spectator leaves, the lights go out and the second piece unseeably shows itself. 

This play of light and darkness reveals the truth of the forms, and brings to light the pieces' representational relevance. Their presence is so ephemeral and deceptive that they don't seem to exist in space and time at all. Are these objects real, or not?

This game of perception and illusion plays with what is not quite real, despite the concrete reality of the objects themselves, whose forms are shaped by the darkness, providing a response to the light.

contributor to the exhibition TECHNOSENSUAL. where fashion meets technologyat freiraum quartier21 INTERNATIONAL

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