This is a collective project which is expressed through different media (clothing, animation, visuals etc.), and also an experiment on memory distortion theory and documentation of conversation between me and my temporal-selves on my relationship with my mother, who happens not being in most of my pictures of my childhood. It is, for the very first time, a reflection that I do upon my own childhood which tangles up my life that comes after. By exposing myself to the past of my own free will, wishing is made to liberate myself from the demonic emotions, to get out of the shadow that i have been living in and to bury them with my own hand. Hence, the title - Kokubetsushiki 葬式, which stands for funeral in Japanese.
The landscape of my memories will be mapped out in the forms of multi-media with personal censors.
As personal as this project is, this psychotherapeutic journey is meant to be taken as a mirror of content for the audience to reflect upon their own personal relationships with people in their life. In the other words, to use one’s scar to see their own. Bridges are meant to be built among the audience and for them to have the access to the map of primitive emotions and experiences.We as human beings tend to hide from unwanted emotions and memories, and live in a fictional life/ parallel universe that we create for the sake of comfort. And this project plays the stimuli for us to question about our not-too-perfect past, especially ones with our parents, to give it a second chance to look at it from your grown-up point of view.
The design from this collection embodies another core of this project, as to stimulate and echo emotions in a highly artificial way. It is interesting to manipulate the two seemingly contradicting elements to work together. The garments with synthetic materials only, carry a tremendous amount of prints created on a 3D program. And Computer programs play a huge part in, from the design process to the final designs to correspond with the idea of using technology to draw in a closer emotional distance.
When I start with a project, I don’t necessarily research in details with regard of the main topic in the beginning. Instead, I start doing research with things that might not seem to be related to the topic. Then I try to thread them together to find the connections between them. Then I would go back to where I begin with.
I work more in a circular way.
I read news on the internet everyday, it is just a habit that I have since I was little. I do not enjoy reading books but newspaper/news. I get inspired at times ,when I have a little debate on my mind on what I read. It raises questions that I want to answer with my work/design in different media. I’m also on youtube a lot. I could spend a whole day on youtube, jumping from top 10 manga countdown, make-up tutorials to documentaries on space exploration. It seems to be meaningless at one point, but you would never know when it would come in handy when you work on a project later on. That’s one way of me building up my repertoire of ideas.
Art is a genuine tool/form of communication between you and your audience. To me, It loses its magic when it is forcefully put together without thoughts Art can be presented in different ways or to convey ideas without the regard of how big or small the idea/ concept behind of it is. It can be an experience, a piece of sound, a computer program etc. But the form of presentation, the art work itself and the concept behind have to be tightly correlated or articulate as a whole. It involves a good amount of calculation but also not too much calculation to leave room for creativity. In the end, it has to build bridges and bring connection between you and your audience. Art is also an experience of two-ways exploration. Artists to discover themselves through the their creation and audience to explore the creation which might in return, bring the audience into their self-exploration.
I don’t thing I am neccessarily a “good” artist. But I do work really hard and I devote myself into what I do completely. I think it is better for me to stay on this state of mind, to stay neutral towards whatsoever that I have achieved. I am always very motivated to work harder with this mentality. It is not like I beat myself up on purpose, but that’s how It works best for me.
I’m a pretty political person myself, partly has to do with me coming from Hong Kong where has been going through a tremendous political turbulence. Art is a great tool to voice your beliefs and stance, and always should be. It is a gentle weapon to fight for social justice. We live in a time when you see non-sense 24/7 on TV/newspaper that affects our lives on so many different levels. And art should definitely reflects on it to different extents. If art is a person today, I would say she/he must be a rebellious, valiant and inspiring person, who is always at odds with any kinds of injustice.
I don’t have a big story to explain the reason why I choose to do what I am doing now. But there have been times, when I completely stopped doing design out of frustration or whatsoever the reason it is. (Like after I was done with my BA, I would feel very sick just to think of making clothes or even try to get initiated to work on my next project and it lasted for a whole good year). But somehow I always go back to it, because for me being a designer is when I feel the most at ease and confident in.
I think my aesthetic is always a mix of Kitsch and Glam if I really have to define it. I don’t think I have a specific aesthetic as my taste towards things change constantly. I think my fluctuating aesthetic affects a lot in my designs in terms of how to categorise them. They don’t really fall into any specific category of clothing design and this is, somehow, what my aesthetic is. That I create tints of confusion in my work, as I believe confusion raises questions.
I am taking a long vacation right now after my intense two years of MA course, but I will soon start a theatre production. I’ll be a costume/set designer for it. It is something I have always wanted to do before. So I’m excited for it. And of course, I will be working on my next capsule collection very soon. I'm also picked to take part of the Designers' Nest competition on Copenhagen Fashion Week.
It would be from my mom: always show gratitude to people around you, and be genuine. Be smart about people who you surround yourself with.
Rainer Torrado: @Rainertorrado
Assistant photographer: Erik Andre Nes @Erik_andre_nes
Stylist: Salima Breie Jobarteh @Miss_jobarteh
Model: Michael Paul Kirya-Atabala @Folkflest
Studio: Avd Frysja @Avd_frysja