Siki Im Pavillion, Arnhem Mode Bienale 2011
Siki Im, who carries his own line of haute couture asked Archi-Tectonics to design his pavilion at the Arnhem Fashion biennale 2011. Inspirational discussion ensued, and Archi-Tectonics asking Siki for a pattern of his favorite jacket in order to use that pattern to [re]create the pavilion. A set of transformational diagrams developed in Maya followed. Siki Im: “The blazer is probably the most complex and most time-consuming made garment of men’s wear. It has history and it has future. It is contemporary and very relevant worn in any part of the world by any person no matter what gender or what social background. For the Arnhem Mode Biennale I collaborated with my former architecture office Architectonics. The architect Winka Dubbeldam and I wanted to create a physical space, which allows to evoke intangible spaces. These spaces and emotions have the same sensibility and quality as I hope my collections provoke and inspire.”
We started with the blazer pattern by topologically transforming it and reversing the process of tailoring until we arrived at the beginning stage: pattern-making. We chose few patterns of the blazer and built it 3D in Maya and translated these models into a physical space.
“Folding-unfolding no longer simply means tension-release, contraction-dilation, but enveloping-developing, involution-evolution […] The simplest way of stating the point is by saying that to unfold is to increase, to grow; whereas to fold is to diminish, to reduce, to withdraw into the recesses of a world. Yet a simple metric change would not account for the difference between the organic and the inorganic, the machine and its motive force. It would fail to show that movement does not simply go from one greater or smaller part to another, but from fold to fold. When a part of a machine is still a machine, the smaller unit is not the same as the whole.”
Gilles Deleuze, The Fold: Leibniz and the Baroque
This quote can be interpreted as a series of expressions of pure movements. Movement or alterations where there are no fixed reference points or suggestive identities questions the context. This notion defines in my opinion modernism, also meaning timelessness.
Establishing relations not based on traditional architectural attempts towards resolution through order and repetition of the same, but relationships based on uncertainties and differences. Hence the only constant is the consistency of dynamic and movement. This notion created by folding is molded and shaped in our space.
This can be seen as another concept of space and time within the landscape of conventionally conceived spatial confines, also used by choreographer Merce Cunningham. Cunningham explored the notion of chance by movements of the body in space and time in concurrence or independently, always developing a “non-representative” dance to emphasize a becoming. The subject becomes object and is in constant dynamic where a certain hierarchy and conventional order is dissolving.
Space as a becoming with no external measures or ends within a complex repetition, is no longer restricted to imitation. The often problematic relation of ideas can develop new ways of seeing the relationship of architecture to environment, building to site, subject to object. The space can begin to reconsider questions of subject/object contextualism. No longer creating a separation of subject/object or exterior/interior, but one where a continuous and reversible dialogue can occur. A folding to create uncertainty between boundaries, instead of defined border of separation. This ambiguity creates a multiplicity of folding and unfolding; a re-reading of an architecture of becoming, and a choreography of subject/object, exterior/interior, audience/performance. This space is not one homogeneous space but a multiplicity of spatial experiences with no scale and static distances.
The juxtaposition of the contrary is a notion communicated in all of my collections. This subtext embraces antagonism by creating and folding a new ‘identity’ often not knowing the outcome but just by becoming. Stylistically by pairing each garment, story, and notion by proposing a new perspective. Sometimes you can find this notion manifested by using the silk organza lining as an exterior fabric of a trench coat, or just by exposing seams and construction, or concealing elements of fastening such as buttons and other trims.
The material of this space can be concluded as a metaphor where ‘architecture’ meets ‘fashion’ in actuality. The name of this material is Concrete Canvas and is a flexible cement impregnated fabric that hardens on hydration to form a thin and durable concrete layer. It is mainly used in the civil and construction sector and also to build shelters and military spaces. Not only literally but also conceptually does this material reinforce the idea of polarity between hard and soft, and tension and release.
The architecture of the fold creates a blur by questioning the inside and outside, the solid and void, public and private, you and me.
Client: Siki Im
Project Type: Exhibition Pavillion
Location: Arnhem, Netherlands
Status: Completed 2011
Principal in charge: Winka Dubbeldam
Project Leader: David Barr
Fashion Designer: Siki Im