Wednesday, 30 June 2010

Kangaroo for bag

I am not a vegetarian, (although I just don't like eating meats in general.) or Vegan, but I could not help but getting little offended by this one artist's fashion project. She is a Japanese artist name Mai Ueda, and her fashion project-collaboration with one of my favorite brand-CELINE, seems little weird to me. (or should I put it in the way that it is little "wrong".)

So, the problem is not about the bag itself- the Mai Bag is actually seems pretty good idea- adopting the design of mundane shopping bag and in appreciation of its usefulness-transforming the design with luxurious material. (although I have seen this type of design way too many times from long time ago.)
Anyways, Mai's site describes this project and the description follows-

"Mai Bag for Celine

Is one of Mai's fashion project.
She designed democratic style shopping bag with controversial material baby kangaroo skin. To make one bag which looks just like shopping bag we had to kill two baby kangaroos in Australia. Kangaroo skins are thin and strong. She collaborated with French fashion house Celine for producing, marketing and distribution of the bag. Mai made special color edition of Gold, Silver and Bronze for Celine. Gold and Silver ones have artificial pattern design on surface by injecting silicon. She made a video art project that she styled herself in Celine clothes and walked around in a desert in Colome, south of Argentine, having her boyfriend of the time shooting it. Also made news paper "The Mai Ueda Times" as press release/magazine and did performance around the world to promote the bag in 2006. One of a performance was a part of Display Esthetic by Item Idem which took place in a show window of Celine Omotesando Tokyo boutique. The performance was about her simply hanging out in the show window as if she is at home in her room, sometimes posing for audience out side of window, sometimes inviting her friends for picnic style meal.
It was an experiment on beauty, luxury and practicality."

So, okay, I get it and the bag is really practical and wonderful.
However, does anyone feeling little hmmm?-ing by the description saying that they "have to" kill 2 baby kangaroos to make one bag? And the bag has been sold around the world? And the collection actually is sold out? But that she is still taking an order from online? (plus, who cares if her ex-bf shoot the video?)
Yes, I might be the only one who think this way- and you would ask me what about minks? Making one mink coat costs numbers of minks.(maybe they "have to" kill entire family of minks-according to their small size.)
I will admit-I am against those animal-killing fashion items and I think they are wrong-at least for me.
I don't think you need to kill animal in order to make yourself beautiful.
I know it can bring up numbers of discussion about this topic, but I just had to write about this bag
since I was also interested in ths project being called as an "artist's project".
I am an artist in fine art field, and am just really interested in fashion-and that's why I started this blog. I know fashion world function/process differently and its mentality is absolutely different from Fine Art, (although there time to time some artists cross the line and connects the two. Like, Louis Vuitton's project with Olafur Eliasson and Takashi Murakami-which was, wonderful, in their own sense.)

So, here is the point- her project seems like it doesn't do its job as an artist project. I personally thinks this is a great example of wanna-be famous attempt of artists interested in fashion, and I think we don't need anymore of those pointless cliches.

although following makes me feel even more concerned:

This is non-leather material mai bag. I mean, it would have been great if you just make the bag with leather-like material in the beginning so that you don't have to do this second option which looks extremely cheap. (I think this is an acrylic or something..this doesn't looks like a reborn of mundane shoppng bag. It just looks like a real shopping bag.)

Here is mai bag featured in Japanese Elle-

If Mai or Celine's fan reads this and if got offended - I apologize cuz I didn't mean to offend anyone. And to be quiet honest, I really like Mai's New Media practices and her funny songs. They r just wonderful. And Celine, like I said, they have been one of my favorite brand -  that is the reason why I was even more concerned about this bag- because I liked those two in general. Just one of the little disappointment I have experienced.

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