The Peabody Essex Museum kicked off its 2017 exhibitions with the WOW World of Wearable Art on Feb. 18, a “wow” experience for the eyes and a stretch of imagination for the mind. This exhibit showcased 32 award-winning creations from makers working all around the world, including Hong Kong, China and Canada. These unique wearable pieces were inspired by an annual design competition in New Zealand, which challenges entrants to think beyond the walls of normal fashion. The creators used all kinds of materials to make their pieces, such as wood, plastic, steel, rubber and many others.
The exhibit inspires creativity in not only observing the carefully detailed pieces, but also with an interactive workstation called The Workroom. Visitors can make their own mini-versions of their pieces using various craft materials provided by the museum. There is also a 15-minute theatrical video of one of the award shows in Wellington, New Zealand, with the pieces being worn in a choreographed production that is an art installation in itself.
Each creator or team had an original concept and story for creating their wearable pieces. Two fashion design students, Mengyue Wu and Yuru Ma, who work in China, were inspired by traditional Chinese architecture and their passion for the environment to create pieces that used plastic and rubber from discarded tires. Their pieces, “Delight of Light” and “Revive,” showcased how art’s innovation and self-expression can cross paths into fashion, architecture, engineering and nature. The pieces are designed so creatively that it will inspire many “wow” moments for guests.
The WOW World of Wearable Art exhibit is open to the public until June 11 at the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, Massachusetts.
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