In a literary coincidence, yesterday we ran a discussion with designer and artist Cyril Duval about his Shanzhai Couture line. The re-appropriation of American culture (see: logos) by Chinese manufacturers onto knock-off fashion items, Shanzhai is a “happy accident” of often ridiculous proportions, that rivals the faux luxury we've come to expect from counterfeit fashion. If Shanzai is how the East sees the West, then Fatima Al Qadiri is returning the favor with Asiatisch.
Unlike Shanzhai however, Al Qadiri's presentation is beautifully complete. More akin to the fake Louis Vuitton bags that easily pass through customs, Asiatisch may be full of references to an “imaginary China,” but it's done with such pristine measure, that the end product is nothing short of gorgeous. The Senegal-born, and Kuwaiti-raised Al Qadiri recently told Rookie that her goal was to create a work of “dislocated stereotypes” pertaining to the fetishization of certain aspects of Chinese culture, though the result might end up like that of another famous aural representation of the East through Western stereotypes, Wu-Tang Clan: A popularity beyond the scope of her most recent subject matter.
Asiatisch is out May 5 on Hyperdub, stream “Shanghai Freeway” below.