If you were to look through the cupboards of any Chinese family’s kitchen, things that you are sure to find are soya sauce, chopsticks and of course, ceramic bowls and utensils- specifically ones adorned in cobalt pigment. Porcelain dinnerware has been a staple item in Chinese households for generations and remain a symbol of both Chinese culture and a familial setting. So when Lacoste enlisted Chinese artist Li Xiaofeng to create two different polo shirts for the 2010 Holiday Collector’s Series, it’s no surprise that he resorted to using traditional porcelain bowls, something that he and other Chinese people are rather familiar with.
Xiaofeng showcases his ingenuity by marrying these traditional Chinese pieces which are so integral to everyday life with Lacoste’s most famous merchandise (which can also be argued as being an essential and timeless piece to anyone’s wardrobe). As can be seen in the above pictures, the first polo that he designed is not exactly wearable unless you put on a piece of platemail on a regular basis. It does however emphasize Xiaofeng’s creativity and painstaking attention to detail as he puts together shards of porcelain bowls that he has carefully painted. The iconic Lacoste name and crocodile is printed on the bowls next to a phoenix, which symbolizes good fortune, opportunity and luck using conventional technique.
The second piece that he designed for the collection is a printed polo which is inspired by the cobalt pigment porcelain bowls and dishes. For the shirt, he has chosen the white and blue images of lotuses and babies which symbolize purity and rebirth. The shirt was put together by photographing the shards of the bowls and placing them one by one in a life-size digital pattern of the polo’s front, back and sleeves. This printed polo is limited to 20,000 shirts. While it’s highly unlikely that these polo’s would be worn for everyday wear, they are indeed an attractive collectable which pays homage to traditional Chinese dinnerware.
Do you know of other creative ways people are using their talents to pay homage to their own culture?
Read more regarding the project and Li Xiaofeng as an artist at Yatzer