Synthesising Chinese folk art with contemporary fashion

Man Ching Frankie Ng, L.Y. Li

Research output: Chapter in book / Conference proceedingConference article published in proceeding or bookAcademic researchpeer-review


This paper reports on a study that aimed to explore new inspiration and creative dimension in contemporary fashion through Chinese folk art. In this study, cloth tiger was chosen as the subject of inspiration. Cloth Tiger is one of historical and popular Chinese folk artworks, and one of the favourite toys of Chinese children. Its bright colours, naive image, clumsy forms sustain its popularity generation after generation. The object of the study was to deploy desirable principles and techniques to experiment with some of the essential elements in the chosen Chinese folk art towards innovative designs. To this end, research was carried out on the style and characteristics of this folk art, and its contextual, decorative and aesthetic definitions was analysed. The very essence and merits of this traditional Chinese folk art was reinterpreted using new materials, special treatments and modern clothing technology. It was realised that the major areas that could give rise to original representation of Cloth Tiger were 1) style, 2) colour and 3) material. In this connection, it is noteworthy that each of these three areas can give rise to original re-interpretation and representation of the chosen Chinese fork art. The distance and/or proximity in style of the new representation of the new Cloth Tiger with the original folk one depend on how far these three areas are re-interpreted and the relationship among them. The final deliverables of the study was a fashion collection in which unusual materials were combined with unconventional skill and novel presentation format by which a new design philosophy that captures the spirit of the time was expressed. More importantly, based on post-modern aesthetics theories, the Chinese ethnical cultures was actualised by analysing the compatibility between various foreign cultures and Chinese ones, and that they interact and inter-flow among themselves to ultimately giving rise to new dimension in aesthetics and fashion.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication[Missing Source Name from PIRA]
Number of pages13
Publication statusPublished - 2002
EventInternational Foundation of Fashion Technology Institutes (IFFTI). International Conference [IFFTI International Conference] -
Duration: 1 Jan 2002 → …


ConferenceInternational Foundation of Fashion Technology Institutes (IFFTI). International Conference [IFFTI International Conference]
Period1/01/02 → …


  • Chinese folk art
  • Cloth tiger
  • Post-modernism
  • Contemporary fashion

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