Love, we simply love fashion and dresses: we like shopping and we go crazy during the sale season. The wardrobe is often the main piece of furniture in a girl’s room.

But what happens when a dress takes the form of Love? When it becomes the relationship with the person we are deeply in love with?

From fabric, to fibre-optics and LED lights: dresses have developed from being a simple cloth, to represent a concept, to artwork.

London Lumiere Festival exhibited three colourful dresses by Tae gon Kim. The French Korean artist’s installations have already travelled around Istanbul and Sydney, and Australia is the next stop.

Displayed behind the window of the Liberty department store and on King’s Boulevard for the UK event in February http://www.tmagazine.co.uk/lumiere-london-when-art-lights-the-city/, the Dresses connected with the audience, by symbolizing the relationship with our desires: as they perfectly suit us.

We have asked more about his work to Tae gon Kim, the artist behind this project.

Tae gon Kim AMEND

How did you arrive to Strasbourg, from South Korea?

I was a university student in South Korea before moving to France. At that time, I really wanted to discover another world of art. I visited an exhibition of French artists and I really enjoyed their work and what they saw through art. This is the reason why I decided to come to France, where I continued my studies at the School of Decorative Arts in Strasbourg.

Do you see your work more as a piece of artwork/sculpture – destined to remain behind a window – or could it become a fashion trend (with all the technology progress)?

Actually, for me, both fields are art, I can say that the first time I thought about the dress’ shape, I considered it like a wearable sculpture. And nowadays, there are no more borders between art, design and fashion. I also think that with the advances in technology, fashion necessarily develops along with it.

Tae gon Kim DSC_0132How much can a dress transform or become part of a relationship?

I have often spoken about the Dresses project citing this text:

« Je veux être l’autre, je veux qu’il soit moi comme si nous étions unis, enfermés dans le même sac de peau, le vêtement n’étant que l’enveloppe lisse de cette matière coalescente dont est fait mon imaginaire amoureux. »

[“I want to be the other, I want it to be me as if we were united, locked in the same bag of skin, clothing being only the smooth envelope of this coalescing material from which is made my imaginary lover. “]

It is from Fragment d’un discours amoureux, by Roland Barthes.

As soon as I got interested in this text, I really wanted the Dresses. When we love someone deeply, we sometimes wish for him or her, till the point of melting into the other person. This project thus pushes us to imagine that we become those we love.

Optical fibre dresses are designed to accommodate many different people. The very shape of the garments preserve, testify, trace the relationship while inviting to participate in it, in the act of finding ourselves.

The object invites to the loving intimacy of those who occupy it. Its form coincides with ours, nous enlacent, we feel embraced by it. An image – the possible reflection of what we want to be – is projected onto the dresses by three video projectors. Dresses and material transport us inside the image, as if we were dressed in our desires. Cette parure d’images, this image is finery.

Tae gon Kim photo3What was the feedback on your Dresses? You have exhibited in different countries, have you noticed any cultural differences?

I have presented my Dresses in very different cultures amongst these countries, but on the concept of art and on this project there has been almost the same reaction. The first reactions have always been imagining a wedding dress and also taking pictures as if the person wears the dress… Maybe the concept of art is universal? The world has become standardized in an image, so, for example, an elegant and large dress symbolizes the wedding dress?

Tae gon Kim Trois robes lumineuses_Kim Tae-Gon_Salle Molière_2012_MD_004Your best memory from the London Lumiere Festival?

I particularly enjoy meeting the visitors at every exhibition. I love looking at, listening to the reactions of the visitors, and talking with them. I was really happy to see Lumiere London’s visitors and to actuallly meet the Londoners. All the meetings with the audiences have always helped me to improve my work and they have really influenced my project.

What is coming next?

Right now, I’m producing a new project and, in the meantime, I am preparing The Dresses for another Lumiere Festival: White Night Melbourne, which will be on the 20-21 of February 2016.

With the Dresses, you pose a question to the audience: Who would you want to be, if you could wear your own desires, si vous pouvez porter vos propres désirs?

How would you personally answer to that?

It’s hard to clarify who I want to be, but definitely someone I love right now… If I can wear my own desires, my desires will not be seen by other people. That is, I want my desires to be seen just by me, gardés juste pour moi.