Fashion Chess, 2011.

(L) 45cm x (W) 45cm x (H) 72cm per chess table; 5 chess-set tables.
Installation, dimensions variable.
Plywood, resin, lacquer.

The work extends the debate of competition among cities and globalisation through the lens of fashion. Iconic buildings from the world’s key fashion capitals were made into chess pieces. Chinese prominent fashion city, Shanghai, is the King in the Fashion Chess. Armed with it are Euro-American fashion capitals and troops considered that most pre-configured chess pieces were originally ‘Made in China’. So much as the fashion high streets of today’s Euro-America cannot operate without China’s low-cost manufactured supplies, the soft power of Euro-American fashion stands strong yet loosing China is likely to loose the fashion kingdom. In Fashion Chess, Eiffel Tower the Queen is valuable, but Orient Pearl Tower the King is invaluable who must be protected for one could still win by loosing the Queen.

First exhibited in the Export Gallery of Victoria & Albert Museum alongside 17th and 18th century chinoiserie imports, the work took on new meanings in contemporary trade and production values.

Mar – Oct 2013, Danson House, Bexleyheath Trust, UK; Apr – Jul, Saltram House (National Trust), UK; May – Sep, Collyer Bristow Gallery, London, UK; Jan 2011, Victoria & Albert Museum, UK.

Studio Photo: Nigel Tribbeck