post – colonial body
In the midst of our daily lives, we take behavioural codes and the invisibility or the confidence of the body for granted. At times we are lost in euphoric exoticisation of the body, but we barely question how the physical presence and demeanour can be affected or moulded by various historical events which took place in the world.
In this light “The Postcolonial Body” is a study of dance and movement amongst various ethnic groups which have been colonised by Western forces. America and Japan have been the two focus points of inspiration. South America as the example of deeper infiltration of colonial attitudes stemming back to Spanish and Portuguese occupation between the 16th and 19th century, whilst Japan as a much shorter-lived example, but one which has become subject to remarkable consequences, where the economic, cultural, and social landscape has been heavily moulded by the US occupation during 1945-1952.
The collection fuses dance and movement from South American dance genres and Japanese ritual enactments celebrating seasonal rites of fertility and abundance. Part imaginary, part a study; the clothes are conceived in a spirit of enforced joy and protest at the same time.
The clothes and the fabrications:
The structure of the clothes is inspired by drapes mimicking moving bodies from genres which fuse dance of the European immigrants, former slaves and working classes of people, as well as looking at contemporary dance which instigates a sense of physical discipline and restraint.
While the collection is imbued with the above themes, the shapes and surfaces of the Chalayan wardrobe remains wearable and practical.