Essay: SHOWstudio x INNERSECT

by Pooky Lee on 9 October 2017

Journalist Pooky Lee provides commentary on SHOWstudio's media partnership with Edison Chen's INNERSECT event.

Journalist Pooky Lee provides commentary on SHOWstudio's media partnership with Edison Chen's INNERSECT event.

Invited by SHOWstudio collaborator and friend Edison Chen, from 4-10 October 2017, SHOWstudio travelled to Shanghai, China to participate in INNERSECT as media partners and contributing talent. INNERSECT, founded and created by Chen, is an impressive showcase of creatives from the world of art, food, fashion and music, who stem, not only from the contemporary and forward-thinking city of Shanghai, but from the influencing cities of New York, Paris, London, L.A and Tokyo. Housed in a large expo and performance space, the 2017 INNERSECT event was attended by a bounty of SHOWstudio contributors and unique new talent. The entire event was personally curated by Chen, who divided the event into four categories; art, fashion, gaming and food.

The art section featured a selection of installations including a beautiful flower piece from Japanese flower artist, botanical sculptor, and co-founder of JARDINS des FLEURS Azuma Makoto and SHOWstudio artist Kelly Beeman was live illustrating during the event, beautifully capturing the likes of Edison Chen, Dr. Woo and Lou Stoppard in a live setting. Scott Campbell, tattoo doyen and notorious prankster continued his famed Whole Glory series at the expo, through which willing volunteers would proffer their limbs and receive whatever permanent marking Campbell felt so inclined to create. One such candidate received a large birthday banner to Edison Chen on his forearm.

In the fashion arena, pioneering brands such as Matthew Williams's ALYX represented themselves with extraordinary visuals and sets. ALYX showed a series of Nick Knight's fashion films on large screens that drew in huge crowds and displayed SHOWstudio’s collaborative work beautifully. Pop-up experiences from the likes of Round Two Hollywood, Midnight Studios and Nike also provided the bustling crowds with a feast of interactive fashion and commerce. J.W. Anderson’s booth was selling accessories and giving out glittering stickers, whilst CLOT, Chen's own line had a booth featuring a selection of limited edition clothes in a collaboration with Dr. Woo.

Chen’s personal choices were reflected in the array of food and drink on offer at the event. Representing his international tastes, tacos from La Escuela and pizza from Uncle Paulie’s in LA kept the hungry fans at bay, whilst Tokyo-based Hotel Drugs Coffee kept adrenalin levels high. Juice Served Here, another Los Angeles-based company served a selection of fruit and vegetable blends; a highly popular choice.

Chen had achieved the daunting task of bringing the best of fashion, music and food to China’s metropolis.

Upon arrival in Shanghai, the SHOWstudio team were taken to set up their offering for the event. Our uniquely designed booth was carefully designed to promote and present SHOWstudio to a new audience in Asia. The booth showcased a selection of SHOWstudio's archive of fashion films, interviews and LiveStudios and was manned by the team as they met and chatted to INNERSECT's audience and other participating brands and companies. Throughout the week, the SHOWstudio team sought great joy in meeting new potential contributors and spreading the gospel of SHOWstudio to keen onlookers! On display in the SHOWstudio booth were Gareth Pugh's dress from the 2004 LiveStudio, 'Cutting Edge' and Noritaka Tatehana's heel-less 'floating shoes', which featured alongside their respective LiveStudio process and fashion films playing on one of the large screens in the booth. Many of the onlookers stopped to examine the pieces more closely and took great delight in comparing the finished products to the films they appeared in.

Alongside the many booths and meet-and-greets, the event also featured live performances. Rap sensation A$AP Rocky, Indonesian viral sensation Rich Chigga, Busy P and Nosaj Thing played in the evenings at the venue, with Chen holding court daily. On the night of 5 October, A$AP Rocky played a raw and striking set to a crowd of fans, abruptly ending due to China’s 10pm curfew. Fans shouted for Rocky's return but the night had reached its close at the expo. This was not the case, however, for the SHOWstudio team! In typical gung-ho fashion, the team pulled together to create an impromptu set in Rocky's suite at the W Hotel, Shanghai in order for Editor-at-Large Lou Stoppard to conduct her powerful In Your Face interview with the rapper. The confrontational conversation was held in the front room of the suite, with Stoppard and Rocky engaging in a quick fire back and forth.

The following day, tattoo master Dr. Woo joined the SHOWstudio team at the Intercontinental Shanghai Hotel, the official hospitality partner of INNERSECT, for his own In Your Face interview. Stoppard and Woo engaged in an in-depth and candid discussion in which the pair explored Woo's career trajectory, discussing both tattoo artistry and the cult of the tattoo. That afternoon, in the centre of the Expo, Stoppard was joined by No Vacancy Inn’s Tremaine Emory, Ambush’s Yoon Ahn, ALYX’s Matthew Williams and our host Edison Chen to discuss collaboration within fashion. The panel discussed everything from success in the industry to teamwork and education, asking why are collaborations so prevalent within street-culture and to what extent is this to do with the merging of music with fashion? INNERSECT ticket holders were offered the chance to experience SHOWstudio's signature live panel format and provided a sell-out audience with a compelling and didactic conversation.

The cultural and social significance of the INNERSECT event could be felt in the atmosphere of the week. Attendees were buzzing with excitement and arms extended with iPhones preceded large groups around the fair. It was clear to everyone attending that Chen had achieved the daunting task of bringing the best of fashion, music and food to China’s metropolis. This carefully curated collection of brands and businesses reflected Chen’s eclectic tastes and highlighted the buzzing desire felt by the people of Shanghai for the talent on offer.



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