SNEAKERS BY SNIQUS
As the focal theme of this exhibition, sneaker culture finds its roots in the early athletic career of Sneakers, which serves as an inspiration. Whether it is the spirit of competitive perseverance and self-determination or the socio-cultural identity embodied by sneakers, they are visually expressed through surrealistic imagery in the artworks. These captivating historical moments - potentially carrying nostalgic resonances, reflecting the exploration of fashion and trends, serving as symbols of established status, or playing the role of a connecting link within communities - invite us to embark on a personal journey of remembrance and explore the meaningful connections forged with specific sneakers.
The artwork "AJ 1" continues the artist's distinctive visual language, transforming blocks of colors, fluid lines, stripes, and curves into vibrant vibrations. As the fragmented elements are recognized by the mind as precise shapes, they form a layered and perspectival pattern before our eyes, akin to a seal of time, encapsulating history, memory, individuality, and the environment, bearing collective mnemonic symbols. In resonance with the commercialization of Air Jordan 1 and its function as a symbol of status, sneakers begin to serve as a canvas for expressing our social and cultural identities.
Every culture is built upon institutional memory, oral history, and deep-rooted mythologies, just like the titles given to artworks – these labels or terms may deviate from the actual events, but they serve as incredible narratives that embody expectations, glory, and rebellion, laying the foundation for sneaker culture.
When Jordan's silhouette is placed on the shoe upper, with stitching, EVA midsole, leather, and the context of the basketball court juxtaposed, we can discern the social symbolism behind it. Serving as a groundbreaking attempt to challenge racial segregation, the brick walls, spikes, and scars are collaged in a montage, capturing the cries of that era and reverberating with an enduring resonance.
Anchoring the lens of time to the present, sneaker culture has evolved into a chaotic state of interwoven elements, blending hip-hop, luxury, and athletic attributes. Driven by the cultural marketing of the digital age, it has entered what sociologist Yuniya Kawamura refers to as "the third wave".
"Air J Dior" bridges the gap between street sportswear and luxury fashion, with delicately intertwining Dior lettering accompanied by splashes of grey ink drops, unfolding within the crevices of shoelace seams like the human thoughts, depicting moments of self-awareness driven by the subconscious. The use of purer acrylic materials adds a sense of stability to the footwear, achieving a tangible and vivid representation of texture.
These magnified, realistic details capture our gaze, evoking a religious-like reverence. However, as the repeated appearance of the Dior logo reminds us, these techniques are employed in service of material wealth, provoking profound astonishment and prompting contemplation on values, consumer culture, and more.