SHUANG LI X MIU MIU

As many know, Miuccia Prada is a self-confessed lover of contemporary art and this is reflected in her work and realization of all collections.

The Miu Miu Spring 2022 show was marked by a collaboration with Moroccan artist Meriem Bennani and with Nathalie Djurberg and Hans Berg for the Autmn/Winter 2022 show. This is the actual proof: Fashion and art can very well be combined and support each other, where two things that can exist independently surrender to the influence of the other.
And this season, the fusionary collaboration between art and fashion continues for Miu Miu’s Spring/Summer 2023 collection, this time underscored by Chinese artist Shuang Li. Here, the contemporary artist translates her work and thoughts into a complete video and stage constellation

Shuang Li, how did the collaboration with Miu Miu for their SS23 collection come about?

Ms.Prada reached out to me through Fondazione Prada after reading an interview of mine, and after a zoom studio visit we sat down at lunch in Bar Luce at the Fondazione. The collaboration started with a good chat.

What do you value most about the brand’s identity and design character?

I love the femininity of the brand’s identity and at a time of radical changes the word femininity itself is up to new interpretations. It now offers many alternatives and is now multidimensional. There’s so much we can do with it.

What do you feel is special about the fusion of your two identities?

I didn’t think about what is fashion and what is art, to me there are both very exciting and inspiring – I focused on doing what I usually do, which is to make it make sense to me. Whether fashion or art, they are always up to interpretation of different individuals.

What was the impetus for the beginning of your career as an artist and did you have a person around you that you would call a mentor?

I don’t have a clear idea when it began – we all made drawings and sketches as a kid. For me it was more about writing, I always liked writing and I would write journals, short stories, suicide notes and etc. It kind of just went from there. I don’t have a mentor in the classical sense, but conversations with my friends have always been inspiring to me.

Can you remember your first art work? What was it?

I actually can! I’d like to think my first artwork was an installation I made with my closet while living in a dormitory. The rapid urbanization of China came with constant large-scale demolition of existing buildings and architectures – one would often see buildings being marked 拆,which means to destroy. I made a sign with the character and put it across my closet where the closet doors would open and tear it apart, which was later taken down by a teacher. Situations in the past 3 years, my own lived experience and the collective trauma of being Chinese, made me think about this work a lot, unfortunately pictures of this work were lost due to my other website work, where I uploaded my personal archive for visitors to delete.

How would you describe your own work for Miu Miu now?

Looking back it still feels like a dream – I’ve never done anything on a similar scale, and I’m more than grateful to have this opportunity. I’d like to look at it as a movie, both the show itself and my experience working on it.

What was your main inspiration for the collaboration? What do you want to convey?

The show thematizes the unavoidable inefficiency of communication – what is lost in words, in the glitches of technology, in translation, in speech-to-text dictation, in emojis, in thoughts – and where these missing messages travel to, through installation, moving image, text and soundscape. By lost in transmission, I not only refer to messages that don’t make it through the glitches in communication systems, but also gestures at broader experiences of the inadequacy of communication. Ultimately every message is a translation and expression always bear its own failure, meaning mutates as it leaves the speaker. The show’s melancholic character is marked by glimmers of optimism, in drawing a connection between these missing messages, the communication infrastructure, and planets, I imagine that our words are not lost but rather take on a new form, punctuating the sky.

As an artist you are also looking more and more at an increasingly digitalizing art scene, how do you feel about NFT’S?

I haven’t had time to think about it actually!

How do you see the future of art?

I can’t foresee how it will go but I hope it can be more radical.

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