WHY-WHAT-WHO Exhibition – 10 Years of Fashion Artefact at London College of Fashion – Beijing


WHY-WHAT-WHO Exhibition – 10 Years of Fashion Artefact at London College of Fashion

Exhibition Hall, 1st floor, BIFT PARK, Beijing, China


Last week I visited the Beijing Institute of Fashion Technology in China to host the opening exhibition of ‘What Why Who’ – 10 years of fashion artefacts from the London College of Fashion.

I would like to thank BIFT for hosting us here in Beijing. From the outset of curating this exhibition we wanted it to showcase in China, and we are honoured that we can exhibit our work alongside BIFT’s Museum of Ethnic Cultures. China has an amazing heritage in craft and object making, which makes it the perfect location for our exhibition. The history of Chinese art, craft and skills are a growing influence globally in both design and development and, are now having international impact on manufacturing and new ways of thinking.

The fundamental value of crafts lies in their opposition to mass-production methods. They are unique and intricate, and whilst we can use technology to produce them – we need the skills of the artisan to create and develop them – that’s why exhibitions like this are so important. We want to show that the creation of an object or artefact is still hugely important in education and skills today. WHY WHO WHAT showcases four key areas of research and studio methodologies.

‘Heritage and craftmanship’ shows the relationship incorporating new and traditional technologies. ‘Performative body and prosthetics’ presents the relationship to the body and our interest in enhancement. ‘Product and manufacture’ is product development in the 21stcentury – teaching students to create with new materials and ethics, practicing sustainability and no waste. And ‘artefact as a political voice’ shows the close relationship for us and our own personal identity – who we are and what we believe.

All artefacts featured are the work from 24 selected international alumni and staff from UAL’s MA Fashion Artefact Course.
Developed in 2007 by course leader and artist Dai Rees, we are proud that our MA Artefact course, is the only one of its kind globally. It is recognized as a pioneering incubator of ideas and philosophies and has been hailed as a leader within educational practice. It has developed and nurtured an impressive roster of alumni, several of whom have gone on to win prestigious art, design and technology awards. And, with many of our students coming from a varied background such as architecture product and furniture design, these diverse skill sets have been nurtured within an open dialogue studio environment.

Fashion is an influential form of expression in contemporary culture and the course approaches the fashion artefact as a post-modern metaphor for what occurs in today’s society. Consideration of the fashion artefact in its theoretical and social context allows us to gain an insight into complex underlying meanings and furthermore open these up for discussion and contemplation.


Why Who What is in its 2nd edition tour after showcasing in Venice earlier this year. The video below is the exhibition opening in Italy. To find out more information on the LCF MA Artefact course please visit https://www.arts.ac.uk/subjects/accessories-footwear-and-jewellery/postgraduate/ma-fashion-artefact-lcf.