Dylan Leung’s White Show project touches on the controversy surrounding stolen artefacts that are still housed in the British Museum. Beginning with his grandfather’s lifelong dedication to thermoluminescence-dating ancient Chinese ceramics (as a means to ‘take back’ what the British stole from his ancestors). Followed by the discovery of Hong Kong through trade routes and later colonisation by the British Empire. This look is a literal visualisation of Britain’s history of piracy and looting.
Collage is a fundamental process in Dylan’s design and concept development. Creating rich imagery by combining all aspects of his research allows for a deeper visual narrative that strengthens the concept of the garment. As each collage inspires a new idea, Dylan explores every avenue stemming from his original concept. For example, studying the British colonisation of Hong Kong led to research into 18th Century British Naval uniform; this garment research is the basis for Dylan’s design development as his designs are technically driven with focus on pattern cutting and construction. From these collages he created rough toiles aiming to communicate the same narrative.
After toiling, Dylan returns to the collage process using images of his rough 3D experiments. By collaging and working back into existing experiments, he refines the design further until all ideas are exhausted. Drawing is also an integral part to this process as it allows for the realisation of ideas that may not always be possible in 3D. This stage of the design development allows Dylan to focus in on construction as a lot of his initial ideas are influenced by technical know-how.
This is Dylan’s final look. It is a literal visualisation of British piracy, stolen art, and colonialism. The look features an 18th Century British naval coat reimagined, with Chinese ceramics being literally stolen or ‘smuggled’ under the body of the coat. Garment details and construction are largely influenced by the silhouettes of Ming Dynasty white porcelain with more specific details such as the collar referencing the “queue” hairstyle required to be worn by male subjects of Qing Dynasty China. The buttons take inspiration from molluscs and barnacles found ‘ornamenting’ shipwrecked pottery discovered along Asia’s porcelain trade routes and have been 3D printed by Milton Stavrou.