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Taiwan’s Palace Museum tells us how ancient and modern meet

The Eye on Taiwan news staff

In addition to opening a branch in southern Taiwan, the Taipei-based National Palace Museum has taken a step further by promoting the ancient artifacts through the modern fashion industry.

The museum has worked with an avant-garde Taiwanese streetwear fashion designer Justin Yu-ying Chou, whose recent debut of his 2018 Autumn/Winter concept “SuperlinXX” was inspired by the museum’s precious collections.

Taking the museum’s ancient treasures as his inspiration, Chou used classic crafting skills to reinterpret Chinese art into modern street style, according to the museum.

 In its first-ever collaboration with the fashion industry, the Palace Museum — which holds 70,0000 pieces of ancient Chinese imperial artifacts and artworks encompassing 8,000 years of Chinese art history — released the copy licenses of many of its treasures to Chou’s brand, Just In XX.

Museum Director Lin Jen-yi played the role of promoter of this cooperation, the museum said in a press statement.

The museum said Lin has advocated that artifacts and artworks collected by the museum belong to the public.

“These kinds of cultural assets are significant and advantageous to the education of aesthetics, the quality of life and the development of cultural and fashion industries in the contemporary era,” it quoted Lin as saying.

“The combination of fashion and arts this time actually added value to each other. It’s a wonderful cooperation and valuable opportunity to show the oriental in the spotlight of the international fashion event,” Lin was quoted as saying.

Drawing on his Taiwanese background and professional training in Italy and the UK, Chou incorporated both Western and traditional oriental elements into his aesthetic, the museum said.

Debuting his new label, Just In XX, in the 2018 Autumn/Winter New York Fashion Week earlier this month, Chou drew on ancient artifacts to inspire a wide range of creations. They included using blue dying to recreate the Song Dynasty masterpiece Travelers Among Mountains and Streams as a funky street look, taking the national treasure Jade Cabbage as inspiration for a sophisticated high street ensemble, and reimagining the imperial curio Ganlan Olive Stone Miniature Boat as a rush weave fanny pack. 

His A/W2018 concept“SuperlinXX” (a made-up word meaning “super links”), attempted to synthesize time, space, culture and age to escape regular routine and rules, blending his vision of street fashion with his philosophy of cultural diversity, according to the museum.

Guided by his vision that “old is new” and “local is global”, Chou used traditional Taiwanese craft skillssuch as blue dying, hand embroidery, and rush waving, to remix vintage fabric with modern textiles, the museum noted. 

His designs combined the “Eastern cultural bond with Western structures”, injecting refined, classic, and high-quality undertones into each look, demonstrating a unique, avant-garde character that was at the same time intimate and sensual, it said.




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