BEIJING — Axi Wuzhimo, a venerable 61-year-old embroiderer hailing from a village in southwest China, has devoted her days to the meticulous artwork of needlework.
Clad in conventional clothes of Yi ethnicity of indigo-dyed material, that includes delicate embroidery and silver headdresses and necklaces, she is among the two skilled Chinese language artisans Fendi is spotlighting for its first large-scale model occasion and artwork exhibition after COVID-19.
The “Hand in Hand” exhibition, named after Fendi Baguette‘s initiative that calls upon an array of artisans to interpret the signature bag by making use of their native crafts, is being held in Beijing because the third cease of a world tour after ones contained in the LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton-owned model’s headquarters in Rome in 2021, and in Tokyo final month.
Now the exhibition, co-curated by Fendi, singer Ji Ke Junyi and artwork collector Kylie Ying, has come to Temple Beijing, a renovated Qing dynasty Buddhist temple that has change into a stylish rendezvous close to the landmark Forbidden Metropolis.
The 36,700-square-foot area brings collectively conventional Chinese language parts and up to date artwork, identical to the exhibition itself, which opened Tuesday. Eighteen celebrities — together with model spokesperson Zhang Ruoyun and ambassadors Tang Yixin, Xu Guanghan, Xu Kai, Track Zu’er, and Tan Zhuo, in addition to Chinese language-American actress Joan Chen, and actress Angelababy — attended the opening reception.
Open to the general public till June 16 without cost, the exhibition is a big transfer to reconnect with native customers and likewise have interaction in cultural trade, consultants say.
“[Luxury brands] normally haven’t achieved many branding actions over the previous three years; Fendi has seized the chance to showcase these reveals that exude sincerity,” mentioned Angelica Cheung, the founding editor in chief of Vogue China who joined Sequoia Capital China as a enterprise accomplice in early 2021.
“The crossover between Italian and Yi ethnicity’s intangible cultural heritage yields a purse that’s really distinctive, which makes ‘Hand in Hand’ an awesome case that balances creativity and enterprise development,” she mentioned on the opening occasion.
China-Italy relations have at all times been controversial, mentioned Andrea Fenn, chief government officer at Adiacent China, which predominantly helps Italian manufacturers enter the world’s second-largest client market. “Italy has a real fascination and admiration of Chinese language historical past and tradition,” he mentioned, including that he’s been seeing cultural exchanges taking place on the bottom in China, together with exhibitions that includes self-portrait masterpieces from Florence’s Gallerie degli Uffizi in Shanghai and Beijing.
“Nevertheless,” he identified, “there’s at all times some resentment in direction of China from Italy primarily based on perceived threats when it comes to manufacturing and immigration.”
China-Italy’s official ties even have soured with the election of Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni, who could pull Italy out of China’s Belt and Highway Initiative funding pact earlier than 2024, as Bloomberg reported. It was set in place by her predecessor to extend exports to China.
However the congenial ambiance and respect for mutual events on the opening of the exhibition was the alternative of any broader tensions.
Wuzhimo and LeGushari, whose household is thought for silver jewelry-making expertise which have been handed all the way down to the 14th era, extremely praised the Italian counterparts and vice versa. They communicated through two interpreters: from native dialect to Chinese language to English, after which to Italian, however the language barrier didn’t cease the appreciation and admiration for one another’s work, which transcended boundaries.
Wuzhimo, talking via her son as an interpreter, acknowledged: “Our embroidery is beautiful, but our methods differ.”
“We all know the significance of the hours we spend working and we’re all keen about our work,” mentioned Elena Ciarrocchi, one of many two Italian artisans who traveled to Beijing from the Marche area.
“Hand in Hand” has two primary exhibition areas for the Baguette and Peekaboo, each iconic and extremely recognizable purses in China that had been created by the model’s creative director of equipment and menswear Silvia Venturini Fendi, in 1997 and 2008, respectively.
Stepping via the exhibition’s entrance, guests discover themselves within the entrance corridor, which is devoted to the Peekaboo bag.
Inside this area, three new Peekaboo luggage custom-made by native up to date artists Lu Pingyuan, Ni Youyu and Chen Fenwan are unveiled. The brand new purses are alongside particular collaborations by worldwide designers, artists and celebrities together with the late architect Zaha Hadid, singer Adele, actress Angelababy, Olympic diving champion Guo Jingjing, designer Chris Wolston and artists Liang Yuanwei, Oscar Wang and Tim Yip.
Continuing past the entrance corridor, guests are greeted by a up to date artwork set up of a circle of males, squatting with serene smiles and seemingly deep in thought, adopted by a tranquil pond delicately nestled beside a wall proudly adorned with the Fendi brand.