Chanel show celebrates art of the bag

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 27 February, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 27 February, 2008, 12:00am

Images of naked women fighting over a luxury handbag in a cardboard box, a gigantic Chanel quilted handbag featuring a powder-box television and swings and sofas made of handbag leather are among the highlights of a mobile contemporary art exhibition in Central.

The exhibition, which has taken Parisian fashion house Chanel more than a year to organise, opens in the city today and runs until April before travelling to fashion capitals Tokyo, New York, Moscow and London, ending in Paris in 2010.

It features work by 20 of the world's top artists including Michael Lin, Stephen Shore, Subodh Gupta, Sylvie Fleury, Fabrice Hyber and the Blue Noses Group. Each was asked to create something inspired by one of the label's icon accessories, the quilted bag.

Most of the exhibits, presented through photography, video, installations and performances, are on display in the mobile venue designed by Iraqi-British architect Zaha Hadid on top of the Star Ferry Car Park. The Contemporary Art Container looks like a moon base.

Each visitor will be given an MP3 player and guided through tour by a soundtrack created by New York-based artist Stephan Crasneanscki.

The tour takes about 35 minutes, but the music backdrop is not for everyone. Indian conceptual artist Subodh Gupta, one of the artists featured in the exhibition, said: 'I like the outlook of the venue space and everything... but one thing I dislike is the sound. I don't like being directed by someone where to go.' Those who wish to see the entire collection will have to travel to the Chanel boutiques in Lee Gardens in Causeway Bay and Prince's Building in Central. The Central boutique will feature the work by Japanese artist Soju Tao, while the other will carry works by the French duo Pierre et Gilles.

Admission to the show - which runs until April 5 - is free, but tickets must be reserved through HK Ticketing and the agency requires a HK$10 service charge.