January 21st, 2011
By Yi Zhou
in the-places. (Last updated: September 4th, 2012)

"CULTURE CHANEL" EXHIBITION
SEEN BY YI ZHOU

Shanghai 2011. In a mix-match globalized new Chinese society, Chinese citizens can better understand branding, brands and the history behind them thanks to educational exhibitions such as "Culture Chanel" which just opened in Shanghai. On the private viewing afternoon, I grabbed a cup of green tea latte on People's square, and walked by the Shanghai museum where my videos were still on at the Shanghai Biennial, then finally got to MoCA. (Photo 1, click here to see all images in a new window)

The exhibition starts with a Karl Lagerfeld's piece as an interpretation about Gabrielle Chanel's childhood spent at the orphanage in Aubazine, Corrèze (France). The monastery's architecture elements and the nuns' style have inspired Coco Chanel's imagination and her future style as a designer. (Photo 2)

The exhibition is curated by Jean-Louis Froment and all the see-through plexiglass plinths were made in France and shipped to China for the exhibition. They enhanced the beauty of Gabrielle Chanel and Karl Lagerfeld's works juxtaposed with modern paintings and sculptures. I liked the fact that each screw was protected by a plastic element which showed that the finishing of each exhibition was as important as the artworks contained in it. (Photo 3)

Chanel News asked me to take a self-portrait with my Leica at the exhibition venue. (Photo 4)

The camellia definitely is a trademark that has always defined Chanel as a brand. It was said that Gabrielle Chanel was very moved by Sarah Bernhardt's interpretation of "The Lady of the Camellias" by Alexander Dumas. (Photo 5)

It was also said that Gabrielle Chanel was inspired by dandies, such as Marcel Proust, who had a camellia pinned onto his jacket.
Anonymous
Marcel Proust in the garden of Reynaldo Hahn
1905
Collection Snark/Art Resource, New York (USA)
(Photo 6)

A great photograph of Olga Picasso with Jean Cocteau and Pablo Picasso: both artists were very close to the designer.
Anonymous
Jean Cocteau, Pablo Picasso, Igor Stravinsky and Olga Picasso in Juan-les-Pins (France)
Original print
1925
Collection Fondation Paul Sacher, Collection Igor Stravinsky, Bâle (Switzerland)
(Photo 7)

In the evening, we got dressed up in Haute Couture to attend the MoCA opening. For the occasion, I invited Paul Andreu, a French architect who designed the Roissy Airport Terminal 1 in Paris at the age of 29. He has also contributed to a number of significant architectural projects in China. He traveled to Shanghai for his solo exhibition that is displaying drawings, so, it was a perfect occasion to gather together at the MoCA and celebrate the "Culture Chanel" exhibition about artists and Chanel. (Photo 8)

At last, I got home and opened the catalogue "Culture Chanel". The catalogue is a giant 400 pages book, made with 5 different kinds of papers beautifully printed in Beijing. After such an inspiring day, it was time to pack up my suitcases and get ready for my departure to Park City, where my latest 3D animation "The Greatness" will be in competition at Sundance Film Festival. (Photo 9)

http://culture.chanel.com/