Fashion and art puts Ho Chi Minh City’s Phu My Hung on the map

Fashion and art puts Ho Chi Minh City’s Phu My Hung on the map

Two RMIT University academics have used fashion and geography to demonstrate the interdependence between art and design in daily life, in a new exhibition in Ho Chi Minh City.

Art and fashion collaboration

The exhibition, Weaving Experience Into Memory presents a collaborative project by an artist and a fashion designer from RMIT’s School of Communication & Design, that uses fashion to communicate an artistic interpretation of an architectural strata map from District 7’s Phu My Hung.

Artist and RMIT Design Studies Associate Lecturer Patrick Ford created a digital print using design elements from a multi-colour check pattern to represent the geological layers and elevations in Phu My Hung, by literally walking up and down the local streets mimicking the action of a weaving loom shuttle. 

news-1-fashion-and-art-puts-ho-chi-minh-citys-phu-my-hung-on-the-map The digital print entitled ‘District 7 Strata’ was the basis for the collection in Weaving Experience Into Memory.

“The adoption of the systems into the creative mix has become a familiar aspect of contemporary art and provided a good basis for the decision making that was to come during the next stage of the project,” Mr Ford said.

Exhibition visitors can observe the digital print in various forms, from initial notebook sketches to print work, from a series of material tests in man-made material, cotton jersey, cotton twill, silk chiffon, and silk habotai using diversified techniques such as digital printing and hand embroidery.

Fashion designer and RMIT Fashion Program Manager Dr Nina Yiu explained how the print design was applied to products that recognises the strengths of all combinations.

“The design of the clothing focuses on clean silhouettes, neckline cutting, armhole movement, a cut and sewn, and zero-waste approach with fashion details such as pleating, racerback detail, hidden pockets, wrapping elements and draping, which all feature the digital print design,” Dr Yiu said. 

“Each of the scales play a metaphoric role in the interpretation of the walking map, adopting a panoramic or more detailed view of the neighbourhood.

“Once the digital print had been expanded upon and printed onto fabric, it was decided that the Ao Dai would be the most appropriate to try out first, as a signature of the local culture in Vietnam.”

thumbnail-fashion-and-art-puts-ho-chi-minh-citys-phu-my-hung-on-the-map A pair of flat lace-up shoes and a chiffon scarf with the digital design print, and a notebook page highlighting the 34 intersections of Phu My Hung in Ho Chi Minh City.

Tying in with creative commerce and industrial collaborations

Incorporating local and international manufacturing industries, digital printing and visualisation software companies, and people into each stage contributed to creating an engaging and unique collection and increasing community pride.

“The exhibition creates meaningful creative works through collaborations between academics, artists, digital and other local enterprises such as community sourced local craftmanship," Dr Yiu said.

"As local creative industries grow, they will drive the demand for well-designed and well-made products and at the same time, will drive the growth of the industry overall.

news-3-fashion-and-art-puts-ho-chi-minh-citys-phu-my-hung-on-the-map Two RMIT University academics Dr Nina Yiu and Patrick Ford introduced their collection at the exhibition opening ceremony.

As part of the Vietnam Festival of Creativity & Design 2020, the exhibition is open to public from 16-22 November at L’Usine in Phu My Hung’s Crescent Mall.

More information about the exhibition can be found at

About the artists

Fashion designer Dr Nina Yiu has more than 10 years’ experience working as a designer, merchandiser and buyer in industry/retail for international brands in the Asia, USA and Europe. She has also spent five years working in marketing and communication on issues of sustainability with the NGO, Business Environment Council in Hong Kong before entering Higher Education where she taught for more than 10 years before moving to RMIT University in Vietnam.

Artist Patrick S. Ford is an Associate Lecturer of Design Studies at RMIT University. He has exhibited his work in solo and group shows in Europe and Asia, participating in over 100 exhibitions and art projects. His work is held in several public collections in Europe and Asia and in numerous private collections. Mr Ford has taught a wide range of subjects as well as leading workshops and conducting tutorial visits to universities such as Kyoto Saga University of Arts in Japan, and Birmingham City University in the United Kingdom.

Story: Thuy Le

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