A fashion designer and university professor, Ying Gao has achieved personal distinction through her numerous creative projects: six solo exhibitions in France, in Switzerland, in Canada, and participation in around sixty group exhibitions around the world (MAK Vienna, MFA Boston, Ars Electronica…). Her varied creative work has enjoyed international media coverage: over 350 press articles and media appearances (Time, METAL, Vogue, Dazed and Confused, Interni, Radio Canada, TV5… ). She is one of the “Fab 40: Canada” selected by Wallpaper magazine. Ying Gao questions our assumptions about clothing by combining urban design, architecture and media design. She explores the construction of the garment, taking her inspiration from the transformations of the social and urban environment. Recognized worldwide, her designs are frequently shown in museums and galleries. Design is the medium, situated in the technological rather than in the textile realm : sensory technologies allow garments to become more playful and interactive. Ying Gao explores both the status of the individual, whose physical contours are transformed by external interferences, and the garment’s function as a fragile protective space. Her work testifies to the profound mutation of the world in which we live and carries with it a radical critical dimension that transcends technological experimentation.


Artistic proposition

Possible Tomorrows
Nylon mesh, Nylon thread, PVDF thread, thermoplastic, electronic devices.

Interactive clothing with fingerprint recognition technology, that acknowledges only strangers. The two robotised garments are connected to a fingerprint recognition system. However, through bypassing the notion of security, they only become animated in the presence of strangers whose fingerprints aren’t recognised by the scanner. The aesthetic and motion of these garments evoke hypotrochoids, shapes borrowed from the vintage game Spirograph: their flattened curves are drawn by a single point linked to a mobile circle that rolls without sliding, on and inside of an initial circle. This design was developed from a series of algorithms linked to the realm of pattern recognition, or scatter graph.

Neutralité : Can't and Won't
2 interactive dresses, Super organza, cotton mesh, PVDF, electronic devices. 

Two dresses, named “Can’t” and “Won’t”, displaying an aesthetic and motion reminiscent of microbial life, which react according to a facial expression recognition system and stop moving as soon as the on-looker begins to emote. Paradoxes. The “Can’t” and “Won’t” dresses push the notion of a false neutrality a bit further by asking the on-looker, who is usually highly solicited, reactive and emotional, to maintain a stoic attitude and posture. It is only on this condition that the garment’s “life” is prolonged, having already been set in motion by the visitor’s presence; it demands a level of humility clearly out of synch with today’s over-the-top expressiveness. Being asked to take an active part in a “living” system, the spectator therefore becomes a component of a self-generated ecosystem, as French philosopher Edgar Morin suggests in La Méthode, La Vie de la vie (The Method, The Life of Life): “Auto-eco-organisation signifies the plurality of possible relations within a living organism, which is simultaneously closed on itself, and infinitely open to the environment and its diversity.” This balletic back and forth is entertained by a means of trompe l’oeil, where robotised movements and shadow plays create a nuanced and delicate breathing effect.