Born 20th November 1992 Chinese
Surplus Value Center
Hua looks at the surreal lives of subaltern workers in assembly line factories, to focus our attention on a reality: when the proletariat’s value is exploited, their labour becomes a commodity and capitalism takes up unnecessary labour time to extract surplus value. Can a society based on this kind of exploitation still be considered civilized? From this assumpiton Hua created a utopian virtual world revolving around 3 symbolic characters: the Villain, exploiting and enslaving the Worker (his second character), and the Revolter, meant to free and awaken the workers. He looked at the elements defining these different characters and went into details as to what they look like and what they would wear in real life. Paying a tribute to countless iconic movies (from Chaplin’s Modern Times to The Matrix, The Last Samurai, Akira and the Hateful Eight) and driving inspiration from an entire pantheon of different characters symbolising revenge and freedom from oppression (Bruce Lee, native American indians, cowboys), Hua Hui’s digital fashion is a futuristic and surreal distillate born from a huge research archive of references.
ITS Digital Fashion Award
The winner of the ITS Digital Fashion Award received a cash prize of €3,000.
I selected Hua Hui as the well deserved winner of this award for the depth & quality of the research, as well as its relevance to the concept and rich narrative. I loved the archetypal references of the villain and hero, expressed from such a different cultural point of view. The narrative itself expressed consciousness towards the problems of capitalism. It was at the same time valuable and valid. The aesthetics, the choices, the perspectives, down to the branding was exciting. This project goes back to the ‘ Why', the ‘How' and the ‘What’ of each design, and in doing so provides an immersive world fueled by the power of imagination. I would love to see this project developed into a book. And I would buy that book.