Basic Instincts

Basic Instincts is on show at the OCT Art & Design Gallery in Shenzhen, China, through Thursday 22 November. Premsela's travelling exhibition features clothing by five designers whose work defines contemporary Dutch fashion, as well as objects, photographs and scale models created by product designers, photographers and architects. It is cohosted in Shenzhen by Overseas Chinese Town Enterprises Co. (OCT) and the SICA Dutch Centre for International Cultural Activities.

FC_BI_undefined-landscape_460x310.pngThe Un-designed display includes work by designers including Monique van Heist and Lex Pott. Photo: Lizzy Kalisvaart.

Iris van HerpenOda PausmaMonique van HeistKlavers van Engelen and Anne de Grijff design garments that are sometimes sculptural but often surprisingly wearable. All of them have a strikingly individual style and a distinctive take on fashion. Likewise, the product designers, photographers and architects in the show have more in common than they might appear to: each works out of a strong personal vision that guides him or her through the creative process. Basic Instincts reveals the Netherlands' unique, multidisciplinary fashion and design culture in six varied exhibition landscapes.

Surprises such as a palace of mirrors, an upside-down cinema and an inflatable wall make the show a colourful, inspiring experience. The first five landscapes serve as three-dimensional mood boards that draw links between various design disciplines. Each landscape, designed by Henrik Vibskov, centres on a single fashion designer and theme. The sixth is a multimedia installation that shows the world of fashion through photography and film. It features new work by the photographers Freudenthal/Verhagen and Petrovsky and Ramone.

Basic Instincts in China
Renilde Steeghs, the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ ambassador for cultural cooperation, officially opened the Shenzhen show on 29 September. Basic Instincts was previously on view in July 2011 in Berlin and in June and July 2012 in Arnhem.

In China in September and October, designers and curators including Anne de Grijff and Lex Pott and Basic Instincts’ Luca Marchetti and Emanuele Quinz gave lectures in conjunction with the exhibition. An expert forum on Dutch and Chinese creative culture also took place.

China, until recently mainly a production country, is newly focusing on innovation and design and training a new generation of designers. The country has 2,000 design courses and more than a million design students. The Chinese government, like its Dutch counterpart, named the creative industry as one of the country's key sectors. China also seeks to increase investment in foreign markets. Yet collaboration between different design disciplines, as manifested in Basic Instincts, is still a new concept. Basic Instincts shows how designers living in open creative cultures, whether they make clothing, products or buildings, can share ideas.

SICA and the Chinese real estate developer OCT have signed a multiyear partnership agreement with the goal of encouraging cultural exchange between the Netherlands and China. Premsela’s Basic Instincts exhibition travels to Shenzhen as part of this endeavour. Basic Instincts at the OCT Art & Design Gallery is a coproduction of Premsela, OCT and SICA.

The exhibition was created in 2011 as part of the Dutch Design Fashion Architecture programme. Premsela developed it in close collaboration with an international creative team made up of creative directors José Klap and Sandor Lubbe (Zoo Magazine), artistic curators Luca Marchetti and Emanuele Quinz (Mosign) and exhibition designer Henrik Vibskov.

Participating designers:

Un-designed: Monique van Heist, Lex Pott, Pieke Bergmans, Stealth.Unlimited

Slow Forward: Iris van Herpen, Siba Sahabi, Paula Arntzen, Studio Jo Meesters, Georgios Maridakis, BCXSY, Doepel Strijkers

Soft Future: Klavers van Engelen, Pascal Smelik, Glithero, Sharon Geschiere, Bo Reudler Studio, Powerhouse Company

Metropolitan Sleek: Anne de Grijff, Whim Architecture, Scholten & Baijings

Perspectives: Oda Pausma, Frederike Top, Daphna Laurens, Gionata Gatto (Studio Atuppertu), Anne Holtrop

Panopticon: Blommers/Schumm, Petrovsky and Ramone, Matthias Vriens McGrath, Morad Bouchakour, Paul Kooiker, Ari Versluis and Ellie Uyttenbroek, Freudenthal/Verhagen, Sandor Lubbe, Marcel van der Vlugt, Erwin Olaf, Hester Scheurwater, Joost Vandebrug


Photo: Lizzy Kalisvaart.
Fashion Creativity & Arts at RAM Shanghai
Zondag 25 november

The RAM (Rockbund Art Museum) and DutchDFA organize an event about Basic Instincts // Dutch and Chinese Fashion in context. With lectures by José Teunissen (Professor of Fashion Culture and Premsela board member), Shaway (editorial director of Modern Media Group China) and a dialogue moderated by China based architect Bert de Muynck.

Press Release

Basic Instincts in Shenzhen
View slideshow

Basic Instincts in Berlin
Pictures of the media preview

Opening in Arnhem
A video impression
Basic Instincts in Arnhem
View the slideshow

Basic Instincts in Arnhem
The Dutch show in summer 2012