YING GAO_Can’t and Won’t

Ying Gao is a fashion designer and university professor, she has achieved personal distinction through her numerous creative projects, solo and group exhibitions all around the world.

Her latest project is made by two dresses, named “Can’t” and “Won’t”, which react according to a facial expression recognition system “The dresses push the notion of a false neutrality a bit further by asking the on-looker, who is usually highly solicited, reactive and emotional, to maintain a stoic attitude and posture. It is only on this condition that the garment’s “life” is prolonged, having already been set in motion by the visitor’s presence; it demands a level of humility clearly out of synch with today’s over-the-top expressiveness…the spectator becomes a component of a self-generated ecosystem, as French philosopher Edgar Morin suggests in La Méthode, La Vie de la vie (The Method, The Life of Life): “Auto-eco-organisation signifies the plurality of possible relations within a living organism, which is simultaneously closed on itself, and infinitely open to the environment and its diversity.” This balletic back and forth is entertained by a means of trompe l’oeil, where robotised movements and shadow plays create a nuanced and delicate breathing effect.”


All images © Dominique Lafond

All Rights Reserved to Ying Gao

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