A Sculpture Knife Cutting into Fashion ---- on Pan Song's "Rainbow Fashion Series"


Pan Song was born in the 1970s.
He belongs to, as people tend to call them, "The Generation70's", a generation in whose eyes all the bitterness suffered by our homeland has become a blur.
Graduate from Central Academy of Craft Art, postgraduate from the Academy of Arts & Design of Tsinghua University, and now teacher at the Sculpture Department of Beijing Institute of Fashion Technology (BIFT), Pan Song's talents and genius seem to guarantee him a smooth way to success.
Looking back at his graduate artworks, we find what have expressed in the Man, Cattle, Drummer and Archer are approximately kind of compact sense as suggested in Antoine Bourdelle's sculpture. The masculinity spirits dominant in his artworks reveal Pan Song's realistism.
The nude girl with a bull-horn hairstyle in another artwork, similarly of Bourdelle's style, however, suggests certain magic, unrealistic fantasy.
Having got his postgraduate degree, Pan Song came to Beijing Institute of Fashion Technology working as a teacher.
A complete department of sculpture set up in an institute of fashion technology, such a combination although rare in China, is not a surprise. Fashion in reality can be comprehended as sculpture. Firstly, fashion is a complete three-dimensional structure; secondly, its past function of pragmatism has been substituted, to a large extent, by aestheticism, which is why those traditional tailors have been transformed into world-renowned fashion designers. Issey Miyake is among those fashion artists who have successfully designed clothes with sense of space by introducing into fashion abundant sculpture elements. Fashion may derive inspiration from sculpture, and it is true vice versa.
Pan Song has possessed a keen eye for that. There is a field where interweave and mingle the fashion design and sculpture creation as well as the fashion culture and sculpture culture, which involve a variety of seemingly contradictory categories, soft and hard, light and heavy, dynamic and static, fashion and eternal, to name a few. All these categories constitute a vivid and undeveloped field waiting for him to explore and develop.
Taking a good advantage of the academic circumstances in BIFT, Pan Song began to attend some fashion lectures, consciously watching fashion shows and getting access to fashion models, drowning himself in romantic aroma of fashion culture. The innate masculinity frequently coupled with sculpture has faded away, while an air of femininity has emerged as suggested in the Chinese poem "I think of her silver clothing at the sight of drifting clouds and her stunning appearance at the sight of flowers".
Impressed by fashion models' towering coiffure, hazy looks, slender limbs and the cloudlike clothes, Pan Song has created a pile of artworks with bronze, cast iron, gild and lacquer, all scattering in his warehouse, in various sizes, of different colors, quite spectacular.
The tone of this series ---- aesthetic, flamboyant, and even a little adulatory and decadent ---- is obviously not modernism.
Charles Alexander Jencks´╝îPost-modernist architectural theorist, has noted a "radical eclecticism" featuring multiplex historicality and ornamentalism. Such image seems to gleam in Pan Song's "Rainbow Fashion Series".

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