Monday, November 1, 2021

IFFTI 2021 - Fashion Resurgence: Our Time is Now. Conference Paper Presentation.

On October 28th 2021, Nina and I presented our paper: 'Weaving Experience Into Memory': A cross disciplinary project investigating the intersection of Art and Design at IFFTI 2021 at The Pearl Academy, India that was held virtually this year to the pandemic.

The annual conference is organised each year by The International Foundation of Fashion Technology Institutes and this year the conference was hosted by The Pearl Academy of India.

The abstract of the paper ran as follows:

‘Weaving Experience Into Memory’: A cross disciplinary project investigating the intersection of Art and Design. 


This paper outlines the initial stage of a collaborative research project that began with an artwork, its development into a fabric print design, the creation of a single test garment, and eventually a small collection of related wearable items presented in the form of a public exhibition in District 7 of Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.

The project that is the subject of this paper sought to explore several issues: can an artist and a fashion designer work efficiently and effectively together given the seemingly disparate nature of the two fields? What technical resources are available within the local industry here in Ho Chi Minh City?, and how could these resources be employed in order to reduce material wastage as well as manufacturing time and costs? In addition to this, could the project serve as a case study to inspire students?

In order to explore these questions the paper will detail the collaborative process beginning with the conceptual methods used in the initial artwork creation involving walking, observation, the collecting of data, the draft stages and the final digital art print. This will then be followed by a description of the test printing of various fabrics, natural and man-made, the sourcing of local digital fabric printing companies and the creation of an initial test garment. Following the description of this initial testing phase, the paper will then seek to describe the design and construction of the subsequent garments and wearable items for presentation and finally the curation of the public exhibition along with the compiling of the accompanying catalogue. 

As the collaborative process is unpacked, the paper will address issues such as sustainability, fabric wastage, 3D virtual prototyping technology and short-run fabric printing technology. The majority of these new developments seek to eliminate the wastage inherent in traditional iteration processes, for example, extended lead times and high sample numbers. The team consciously attempted to adopt a zero waste policy and exhibition items such as the parasol and the wooden information hangers were clad with any useable remnants of surplus printed fabric left over from the garment fabrication.

The resulting exhibition, forming part of the ‘Vietnam Festival of Creativity and Design 2020’, presented the entire creative process with reproductions of notebook pages, paper patterns, fabric samples, garments, footwear, a parasol and a video monitor screening computer simulated apparel designs and a 3D virtual fashion show with avatars wearing multiple variations of the designs on display. 


Keywords: Maker culture, cross-disciplinary design, 3D virtual prototyping technology, apparel simulation

A recording of the paper presentation can be viewed here. 

The IFFTI 2021 Conference website can be found here.

The full paper can be obtained upon request.

Friday, October 22, 2021

52 More - Score 11

'52 More' is a project created by Dr. Blake Morris and which follows on from his '52 Scores' project. The off-cuts of text left over from that previous work was now offered to participants so that they may use them to create scores that others could explore.

As I had greatly enjoyed participating in '52 scores', it seemed an easy decision for me to also participate in this new project. Of course, '52 More' involved taking responsibility for the compilation of a score, as opposed to following one compiled by others and it was this opportunity that attracted me.

To kick-start the process, Blake sent me an image and an assortment of short texts, sentences and phrases. As I was living in Vietnam at the time, the assortment was sent via email as opposed to the usual method via mail. 

Once I had received Blake's email, I printed out the various snippets of text, as well as his letter, and began playing around with them on top of the base image that appeared to be a sample paint card, featuring a variety of 'popular yellows', produced by Marquee Paint.

Following the instructions, supplied by Blake, I played around with the texts for almost a week, creating passages, disassembling passages, recreating alternate passages with the text, before finally deciding upon a configuration that seemed to present possibilities for exploration while at the same time retaining an element of the unknown, and perhaps some slightly absurd suggestions. At the end of the week I had arrived at the final score, which can be seen in the first images below:

The Final Score - 11

The walk took place on Sunday 29th August 2021. Blake walked in New York City - USA, Laura Phelps walked in Cardiff - UK, while Nina and I walked in Sewerby, East Yorkshire - UK. The three groups of walkers stayed in touch, exchanging comments and images via the 'Telegram' app. 

The final score text read as follows: 

The White House / yellows / are eligible only / After the Avant-Garde / cricket grounds - the Michael Carrick testimonial / Delivery / the magic of what is. / The explicit sociality we claim for The Walking / experiences / 'When is a Walk a Piece of Art? / Deep Listening / repeat the process

At the very start of the walk we found our first yellow, and with it the means to see our destination, a little further up the coast.

The cliff-top walk leads toward Sewerby, trees on the left, the sea on the right.

The first land-train platform, serving the model village.

More yellows: the remains of yesterday's fun-run.

The route markers were left for others but they became relevant for us too.

'The start', marking the entrance to Sewerby Park, the terminus of the land-train and the beginning of our cricket investigation.

We arrived at the land-train terminal platform but the train had already left. 
Heinrich Böll obviously never came here, and if he had perhaps he would have preferred walking too.

More yellows and more directional signage. This one hinting at the sociability of walking.

The largest yellow sign, announcing the destination cricket pitch at Sewerby.

Spectator seating surrounds the pitch, though today there were few takers.

...and some of those were from the insect world...

Varied refreshments await players and spectators alike, including copious rose-hips.

Further round the pitch I found a group of enthusiastic spectators, who came with their own wind-break.

A sight-screen...or minimalist construction?

The cricket match in progress, seen from the cliff-top side.

The cricket match in progress, seen from the pavilion side.

The rear of the pavilion. Another minimalist construction, this time in yellow.

Cricket nets, this time referencing Do Ho Suh?.

We finally sighted the White House, nestling in the trees, beyond the ha-ha.

A local bee enjoying post match refreshments.

We found a fairy ring near to the practice pitch.

Guard dog? or petrified companion?

Picking up more yellows in the local hedgerows.

Being observed whilst observing...

Deep listening, echoes of the park band reverberate only in our imagination.

At the end of the walk, we found ourselves in time to catch the land-train. However, we turned down the offer. Why ride when we could walk?

For more details and observations about Score 11, please see Blake's project blog here. If you would like to create a score or participate in scores created by others, please contact Blake directly via the details on his website.

Wednesday, June 23, 2021

Drawing Dialogue 3 2019-2021 at Keighley Creative Gallery

The third installment of the Drawing Dialogue project reached a successful conclusion and this time an exhibition was arranged at Keighley Creative in West Yorkshire, UK. This was an opportunity for participants and visitors to survey all the drawings that had been created by the three-person teams during the project duration.

Drawing Dialogue 3 was a project running from 2019-2021, involving 36 artists from around the world interacting with each other's work. The artists were arranged in groups of three with each artist initiating a set of four drawings. Once each felt that a good beginning had been established, they were sent on to the next artist in the group and so on until there were three sets of A2 drawings that all three had worked on. 

The exhibition at the Keighley Creative Gallery will run from 10th June - 1st July 2021 at Old Sunwin House, Keighley, BD21 3QJ, UK.

To attend the Private View (6-8pm), please email: 

From 2-4pm on Saturday 26 June there will be a Drawing Dialogue Symposium (online) during which participating artists will share their experiences working on the project and there will be an opportunity to discuss collaborative drawing and other drawing-related issues. 

To book your free ticket to the online event please visit:

An online symposium was held before the exhibition opening attended by 30 participants. Three of the artists whose work is featured in the exhibition gave presentations on their work, their working methods and also their attitudes towards drawing itself.

One of the presenters, Garry Barker (Leeds Arts University, UK), gave a very interesting presentation on the subject of the dot and the line. Garry has now written up about his talk, revisiting the presentation and his account can be read here on his blog:

For more information about the Drawing Dialogue project please visit the following posts:

Tuesday, May 25, 2021

Skyline Walking

 Skyline Walking is a recent project initiated by Alisa Oleva. As an open call for participants, Alisa asked for short videos of around one minute duration and recording a walk that features a scene looking directly upwards towards the sky, with buildings silhouetted against the night sky.

Alisa's plan was to combine the submitted videos from all over the world into an 'accumulative video archive'. As a creative provocation the open call provided the following paragraph:

‘I like to walk at night. I like to look up and trace the rooftops of the buildings with my eyes. As kids we are often told to look where we are going and mind one’s step. But what if we wander the streets looking up, walking the up-streets of the city architecture? We often have our phone in hands as we walk, why not use it to see the city from a different angle?’

On Thursday 29th April, I chose a location in Ho Chi Minh City that had conveniently spaced buildings with a noticeable architecture feature in the facade...and the rest I left to serendipity. During the minute's filming I walked around 30-40 feet avoiding cars and other pedestrians, orienting the camera as I walked, trying to use the nearby architecture to recreate the sense of 'being there'. 

After reviewing the video I realized that, perhaps due to the height of the buildings and the changing orientation of the camera, it seemed as though I was hardly walking at all. I was surprised by the feeling that the recorded walk was not the same walk as the one I experienced while filming. I found that as the experience was transformed into a digital recording, the experienced had also been transformed. 

The submitted videos are being broadcast from Thursday to Saturday, from 12:00-6:00pm during the run of the 'Midnight Sun' exhibition.

I am always interested in participating in projects initiated by other artists. It is refreshing to become immersed in an activity that has already been devised and orchestrated by someone else, with all its surprises and discoveries.

The videos are streamed via the broadcast section of the Black Tower website.

The broadcast page of Black Tower can be found here.

Further details about the Midnight Sun exhibition can be found here.

Learn more about Alisa's work here.

Please view the recorded walk via the broadcast page in order to see the work in the exhibition context. Once the exhibition has finished, the walk can be viewed below:

Thursday, May 20, 2021

GROW 2021: Growing Your Apparel Business with DTG 2021

 On 18th April 2021, the GROW 2021 event was held at Le Meridien Hotel in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. The event was hosted by Fluxmall DTG to an assembled audience of local designers, entrepreneurs, industry representatives and students.

After an introduction to digital printing and its many applications by Fluxmall DTG director Dmitry Sarbaev as well as practical demonstrations by his team using the digital printing machines transported to the venue, a panel discussion was held that examined how the local industry and design sect have adapted to the COVID-19 pandemic, and what the future may bring.

The panel discussion was facilitated by Dmitry Sarbaev and featured contributions by:

Trường Ngọc Anh - CEO and founder of HNBMG

Nguyễn Thanh Tam - Senior Business Specialist of DuPont Speciality Products Co., Ltd

Dr. Nina Yiu - Manager of the Fashion (Enterprise) Degress Programme at RMIT University, Vietnam

Patrick S. Ford - Artist and Associate Lecturer of Design Studies at RMIT University, Vietnam

An article based on the topics discussed during the panel discussion can be read here.

A video review of the event, created by Fluxmall DTG, can be viewed below, or here

Photos and images courtesy of Fluxmall DTG.

Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Collecting Colours in Lac Village, Hoa Binh, North Vietnam

 On 6th April I set out from Hanoi with Dr. Nina Yiu and a team from the Vietnamese Women's Museum on trip to visit Lac Village near Hoa Binh, South East of Hanoi.

After a three and a half hour drive we arrived in the beautiful village, finding it beautiful and quiet. The village sits in a valley with tree-clad hills surrounding it and which is carpeted in lush green rice fields. Normally this location would be buzzing with activity, local community members working and international tourists on adventure holidays. Unfortunately, due to the effects of the COVID pandemic there are no international tourists and only handful of domestic tourists from other parts of Vietnam. Normally the local community members would be making clothes, bags, and other attractive products with designs based upon traditional patterns and designs. Other community members would take the tourists on trekking trips through the rice fields and into the local hills. The tourists would stay in stilt houses constructed to follow the traditional construction methods. It was tragic to see it so quiet and devoid of visitors.

Nina and the team from the Vietnamese Women's Museum were collaborating on a project that aims to provide some support for the local communities in this area. The idea is that Nina's students at RMIT University in Ho Chi Minh City would work on designs for clothes and bags that are then made by the local community craftspeople and sold to tourists from the Museum, with proceeds going to support the local community in the future.

Of course, the students do not aim to simply reproduce traditional styles and decorative patterns, they wished to add a twist, to transform the designs and patterns in such a way as to reinvest those designs with a contemporary spirit. Some of the designs were more complicated than those that would be usually made in the village and so Nina came to assist them in gaining an understanding of the contemporary designs and also to provide technical advice, visualizing paper patterns etc. 

Nina was on official business from RMIT but I financed myself to join the trip to Hanoi / Hoa Binh / Lac Village to see this lovely place.

Although the day turned out to be very busy with non-stop meetings for the whole day, I did find time to take a short walk through the village and as I did so I decided to collect ambient colours along the way.

The location of the village and the colours I collected, along with a few photos I took can be found below.

Before dusk we all set off on the three and a half hours drive back to Hanoi.

Lac Village (Google Maps)

The area around Hoa Binh showing Lac Village
(Google Maps)

Hoa Binh seen in relation to Hanoi 
(Google Maps)

Reaching the crest of the hill

Breakfast stop along the way

The hanging food stalls 

Arriving at Lac Village

Village detail

Village detail

12 found colours

Sunday, January 31, 2021

渡 (Portal) - Cheung Chau Wave 2020/21 - Update

 Last month I posted information about the Cheung Chau Wave Arts Festival centered around the small island of Cheung Chau in Hong Kong. At the time I didn't completely understand how the festival was operating, despite being one of the participants. This is an intriguing position to be in and made the whole situation quite interesting. 

Festival Poster (Credit:

Recently, I picked up on festival lists that explained more about the festival. The Cheung Chau Wave festival, titled 渡 (Portal) is now presented more fully on the festival website, here and is listed as running from Dec 2020 - Feb 2021.

Festival website listing

Once inside, information can be sought either by genre or by artist name. My recorded performance of 'No holiday' took place on Cheung Chau during the period I called the island my home (2012-2018). The performance was originally conceived for the 'Duration and Dialogue Performance Arts Festival' in Toronto, Canada in 2017 and subsequently gave rise to the ongoing, serial performance it now is. Since then the performance has been recorded and live-streamed from the UK, Venice - Italy and Saigon - Vietnam. <ore performances were planned but these have been postponed due to the COVID-19 situation. As soon as the situation improves it is hoped to resume the saga. 

My page on the festival can be accessed here.

The recording of 'No holiday - Cheung Chau, 2017' can also be found on the Cheung Chau Wave Festival YouTube channel.

'No holiday, Cheung Chau, 2017'

The performance recording can also be accessed on my own YouTube Channel, and more information regarding the performance can be read on my website: