The garments designed by Ying Gao are situated in the technological rather than textile realm. She creates fashion that is interactive and conceptual, challenging hierarchical boundaries within the art world and developing hybrid discourses of culture.
‘[No]where [Now]here’ is a project featuring two interactive dresses using photoluminescent thread and imbedded eye tracking technology, is activated by spectators' gaze, inspired by the essay entitled "Esthétique de la disparition" (The aesthetic of disappearance), by Paul Virilio (1979):
"Absence often occurs at breakfast time – the tea cup dropped, then spilled on the table being one of its most common consequences. Absence lasts but a few seconds, its beginning and end are sudden. However closed to outside impressions, the senses are awake. The return is as immediate as the departure, the suspended word or movement is picked up where it was left off as conscious time automatically reconstructs itself, thus becoming continuous and free of any apparent interruption."
A photograph is said to be “spoiled” by blinking eyes – here however, the concept of presence and of disappearance are questioned, as the experience of chiaroscuro (clarity/obscurity) is achieved through an unfixed gaze.
These are dresses and art objects existing in the real world, transforming the wearer’s waking and walking life into an artistic statement.