Location: Beijing, China
Project Work Status: Completed Projects
Area: 400 Sqm
Client: British Council
Team: Chris Lee, Bolam Lee, Martin Jameson, Patrick Usbourne, Unison Baori Gele, Lara Yegenoglu, Brian Cheng , Stephie Qin Sun
Project Completed: Oct-2012
Serie was commissioned by the British Council to design an exhibition that explored the intersection between fashion and film. This was a temporary exhibition located at the Ullens Centre for Contemporary Art in Beijing. The design concept was to divide the large space into smaller rooms in order to create an intimacy allowing the viewer to focus on each section whilst not feeling too confined.
Using the elements of the ceiling and the notion of a fine white draping fabric to give a level of translucency, the space was divided into simple strips. To move from room to room was simply peeling away the white drape and in doing so physically connecting with what the films were about: fabric.
Dressing the Screen was a moving image collaboration that told the story of fashion film in the United Kingdom from 1939 to the present day combined with an exploration of the exciting new work coming out of China. The films displayed in the United Kingdom section covered pivotal moments in the development of the genre, from the early films of the Ossie Clark and the pioneering experiments of Nick Knight's SHOWstudio to the most recent holographic and 3D fashion show-cases by designers such as Burberry and Cassette Playa.
The milky, dream like curtains greeted you first; a series of dividers which became whiter from their layering and help divided the space. Smaller screens at the entrance displayed early explorations of fashion through film from the golden age of cinema. Stepping forward chronologically and in space, another room features film of runway shows from the 1980's. The main films were displayed on large screens on the walls either side, culminating in the central room, showing the largest from fashion film of the internet age.
Dividing each space created an intimacy to allow the viewer to focus on each section, whilst retaining a loose visual connection to each neighbouring section. Sound was localised, using special speakers of the right volume to allow for the viewer to concentrate on the video they're watching. The central room with the increased height of the existing ceiling, became the centre of the exhibition.
The exhibition was about the video, not the architecture. Simplicity was the primary concern, and the experience of the viewer as they move from room to room was imperative. The design brought the content to the fore in order to inspire all those visiting.