Pauldron

Publisher:
The Korea Fashion & Culture Association
Publication Type:
Exhibition
Citation:
Fashion Art Biennale Seoul
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The International Fashion Art Biennale in Seoul, hosted by the Korea Fashion and Culture Association, is one of the most significant international exhibitions of fashion framed as art. The 2010 Biennale was notable as it coincided with the 60th anniversary of the Korean War and the hosting of the 2010 G-20 summit, shaping the themes of the exhibition. It showcased 104 artists selected globally. The exhibition was held at the Hangaram Design Museum, Seoul Arts Centre, and received substantial press and media including coverage on national Korean TV. My participation was noteworthy as I was the only Australian invitee. ‘Pauldron’ explores the tensions between the residual sense of tribal primitivism associated with the practices of scarification versus the highly refined craft skills that are required in the fabrication of armour, whether it be Japanese or European. These tensions are further explored by the introduction of a new material, wool, and a new technique, not associated with the usual inert materials of armour whether they be lacquer or steel. A result is a re-gendering of the notion of protective coverings. It also re-positions the sense of decorum of inner and outer garments. As the fashion scholar Valerie Steele argued in the exhibition ‘Love & War: The Weaponised Woman’ (The Museum at Fashion Institute of Technology, NYC, 2006), there is a paradox in the way women’s fashion consistently uses elements from warfare and military garments over a long period of time to reinvent feminine identity in clothing. The work continues my broader research investigation into the application of knitting techniques to create new body constructions and forms.
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