Tao Te Ching x Fashion x Art Tech Tao Te Ching x Fashion x Art Tech Tao Te Ching x Fashion x Art Tech

Tao Te Ching x Fashion x Art Tech

Fashion / Not Fashion

Upcoming to be staged at the Hong Kong Cultural Centre in November, The Tao of Fashion will interpret fashion in terms of the Tao Te Ching. Mathias Woo, the Co-Artistic Director of Zuni Icosahedron, in collaboration with local fashion designer Sing Lo, would like to reverse the concept of fashion and explore the relationship between Tao Te Ching and fashion.

  • “The Way that is speakable is not the constant Way.”


    What is happening to fashion shows in 2021? Director Mathias Woo believes it is possible to do anything in a fashion show. “You can like it or hate it. In the old days, fashion houses had their own personalities. But now, brands are no longer distinguishable – they all look like each other. So this time, we want to ask – what is the meaning of today’s fashion show? Especially after the outbreak of COVID-19, physical fashion shows are not needed anymore. When everything can be done online, who would fly over the globe for a fashion week?” Fashion designer Sing Lo also mentioned, “Fashion changes along with time. Under different circumstances, cultures and demands, the term ‘fashion’ carries different meanings.”


    Living in a chaotic world, can we use the Tao Te Ching to interpret the problems around us? In The Tao of Fashion, Mathias would like to redefine the concept of “fashion show”; perhaps, it could be the starting point of seeking answers.

  • “Ugliness exists when there is beauty, evil exists when there is goodness.”


    “Many logics in the Tao Te Ching can be the ways that guide our thoughts and behaviours. Beauty coexists with ugliness, expensiveness coexists with non-expensiveness. I think this is a very special point.” Mathias explained. Sing also resonates with this chapter, “When you recognise beauty, in relation, the concept of ugliness would be generated. When I see it from the perspective of fashion, my mind actually starts to think about what isn’t fashion.”

  • “Best to be like water.”


    Mathias explained, “‘Best to be like water’ talks about the infiltrability of water. Western thinking is about the comparison of absoluteness, but the Tao Te Ching is about the comparison of relativeness.”


    The performance utilises new technologies and experiments to present “relativeness”. It incorporates various sounds and forms of water, as well as the elements of ink and calligraphy. “Cloth and ink can communicate well. When ink is printed on cloth, there will be a world of imaginations,” says Mathias.


    “I think the show is about how everyone redefines fashion, and how we develop a fashion show in line with the new trend of performances, as well as how we interpret the relationships between fashion, the Tao Te Ching and us. In the performance, advanced theatre technology is applied to present traditional classics. We hope the audience can experience something new from the theatre, which can’t be conveyed through books or videos. Live performance is an immersive experience.”

  • Related Programme

    The Tao of Fashion 

    Location: Studio Theatre, Hong Kong Cultural Centre

    Date: 2021.11.26 (FRI) 3PM, 11.26-27 (FRI-SAT) 8PM

    Programme details: https://zuniseason.org.hk/en/programme/the-tao-of-fashion-2/

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