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START x ROLAND MOURET

In compliment to Korean Eye 2020, START 2019 is delighted to have formed a partnership with Roland Mouret to present the START x Roland Mouret space. Aligned with Mouret’s devotion to the promotion and celebration of strong women, Mouret has co-curated the ground floor space with Korean Eye 2020 Curator, START /PCA Founder and CEO Serenella Ciclitira, featuring works by two female Korean artists; Seoul-based Hyojin Park and London-Seoul based Meekyoung Shin.

Following START the works travel to Mouret’s Flagship Boutique at 8 Carlos Place, Mayfair for an extended pop-up exhibition.

With over 20 years in luxury fashion and an international reputation, Roland Mouret has brought a unique approach to draping fabric creating silhouettes that celebrate the female form – a style that has made him one of the best-loved names in the industry.

Brought up in a French mountain village near Lourdes, the young Roland was expected to become a butcher like his father, and it’s perhaps the skill and precision Roland observed in his father that manifested in his ability to understand the cut of a dress. He swapped the country for the city and would eventually turn to fashion. “I could never have started my career at a very young age, the way Saint Laurent did. My journey was longer. It was based on really understanding the relationships between people and the way they choose to dress, how they use clothes to position themselves in society,” he says.

“I’ve always been this double person. My clothes are for a city life yet in the wools and textures of the countryside. Fashion is supposedly all about change, yet I prefer to evolve because that’s what happens to our bodies and in nature and actually, I love that. I learned as a country boy growing up with the seasons that what is beautiful one summer will be just as beautiful the next.”

When Mouret left the rural South West for Paris, he made an entrance – literally – through the front door of the nightclub of that era; Le Palace. “I told myself if I can get inside, when there are so many people waiting, hoping, in line outside, I can succeed. I made myself a blue suit, kind of “Zazou”. I stood under a streetlamp. Every time the door opened, I was lighting a cigarette. I was a poser and I got invited in. I know what it is to be an outsider. The women I dress often feel like outsiders, even those who are well-known. Many of my clients have shaped their own lives yet they tend to have a strong sense of their roots, an honest ambition to move ahead yet with a love of where they come from.”

After ten years living in Paris and working as a model, stylist and art director, Roland moved to London, saying “Paris had become my trap.” It was in London in 1997 that Roland first sought a career in fashion and the creation of his own collection, inspired by his own ‘greats’, Azzedine Alaia and Yohji Yamamoto. Without formal training, he was armed only with the precision to cut, the skill to drape and the courage to combine the two. “I came from a life where I thought the door was closed. Yet it opened the doors to my creativity and I’ve always grabbed my chances,” he says.

He continued to work tirelessly and evolve his draping technique, starting the brand that is now Roland Mouret. A new business partnership helped expansion, but Roland eventually lost the rights to his name for a period. “I was not broken. I called my father to tell him, ‘I lost your name. I promise you I will buy it back.’ Then I discovered my signature was on the outside.”

In 2005, the Galaxy dress was unveiled and is still available today; proving to be the brand’s most enduring and iconic style, drawing on an appeal for supportive and timeless classics. “The Galaxy; it’s a bit like having your first Number 1 chart hit. You are defined by it.” 

“I drape, I touch, the fabric takes the lead and the element of transformation is always magical to me.”

“I love the way fabric feels, I love to grab it, I love how clothes fall over the body. I’m known for drape and structure, but I succeed, I think, when the clothes feel comfortable to you ....and perhaps through the eyes of someone else, someone you love, so you will leave the fabric looser on yourself, like after sex. We all dress up to undress.”

Serenella Ciclitira, Korean Eye 2020 Curator, PCA Founder and CEO, adds:

“I could not be more delighted to be collaborating with Roland Mouret to present two wonderful female Korean artists at START as an extension to Korean Eye 2020; Hyojin Park and Meekyoung Shin who was one of my early discoveries for Korean Eye in 2010. To be able to bring these artists and the creative imagination and ability of Korean Contemporary artists to perpetually engage and surprise to a new audience is a source of great satisfaction.”

Hyojin Park

Hyojin Park (b.1974) Korea. Park Lives and works in Seoul, South Korea. In 2011 Park gained a MFA (Master of Fine Art), Goldsmiths college, University of London, UK after previously studying in Korea gaining 1998-2002 MA (Sculpture), Ewha Woman’s University, Seoul, Korea 1994-1998 BA (Sculpture), Ewha Woman’s University, Seoul, Korea.

Park’s works resemble such a sad monster. Sculptures supporting the base - such as Nike, David, Poseidon and Madonna - are the human figures or the humanlike god/goddess in mythology representing the paradise of humans. The white and blue porcelain represent the highest level of cultural products.

Whereas the realistic paradise sustains the base, the splendid flowers in the upper part are the products of higher desire and show the untouchable and unattainable paradise.

Colourful pigments pour out the crazy feast of flowers in full bloom splendidly in all seasons and in all times. However these bunches of flowers that burst out desire fiercely and breathlessly are fake flowers, ceased in the most impressive moment and show nothing but castrated desire. As the sculptures and white/blue porcelain are not authentic originals but reproduced imitations, the reality itself that we dream may not be real. Also although the idealization has the most brilliant image, it has been castrated and killed. The colours burst out weighed down like shedding blood and dropping tears.

The reality is that the happiest form is the most idealistic. Even if paradise is not attainable, its state must be the most perfect. Therefore Park Hyo Jin’s work’s reality contains a sadness that seems not to know of the ultimate realities of the ideal paradise. These works that were once beautiful are now more similar to a monster. The once beautiful Medusa is eternally trapped within her curse, and the instance anyone who sees her current form will be turned to stone.


Meekyoung Shin

Meekyoung Shin (b.1967) South Korea, completed her BFA and MFA at Seoul National University. In 1995, she moved to London to obtain her MFA at the Slade School of Art, University College London (1998) and Royal College of Art(2017).

Based in both London and Seoul Meekyoung is internationally renowned for her sculptures that probe the mis- and re-translations that often emerge when objects of distinct cultural and historical specificity are dislocated from their origins. Made from soap, her work replicates artefacts and works of art, from Asian porcelain vases to Greek and Roman sculptures, translating between continents, cultures and centuries in the process.

Meekyoung’s focus of work was on the concept of ‘Translation’ something that grew following her re-location to London where the distinct cultural differences between western society and Korea were highlighted. This prompted Meekyoung to consider, in the development of her work, the importance of shifting localities and cultural understanding. She applied this thinking to museums and museum collections, and what this meant for the cultural objects contained within them focusing on objects that have been relocated from one society and culture to another. Working with a stately home in the UK is a natural extension of her thinking and offers new opportunities where status and class is as much a feature as the fixtures, fittings and artworks.

Meekyoung uses soap as her material of choice, a low cost, transient material that has many properties including the ability to erode and show the passage of time. Her interpretation in soap of classical sculpture and import porcelain from the sixteenth century has raised the question of value and permanence. In 2012 Meekyoung completed her largest commission to date, ‘Written in Soap’ a sculpture of the Duke of Cumberland on a horse, this plinth project currently stands in Cavendish Square in central London.

Her work neatly straddles the divide between craft and conceptual art; her exquisite craftsmanship is evident throughout her work, which is equally as popular with critics and the public alike. She was shortlisted for the significant Korean Artists Prize 2013, which celebrates and supports talented artists that have made significant contributions to the advancement of Korean art.

Roland Mouret
Roland Mouret
Hyojin Park Loves Autumn
Hyojin Park

Lovers - Autumn, 2019
Fake flowers, resin, wood  50 x 50 x 60 cm

Meekyoung Shin Translation
Meekyoung Shin

Translation-vase series, 2012
Saatchi Gallery, London

Hyojin Park Festival
Hyojin Park

Festival, 2018
Fake flowers, resin, wood  70 x 85 x 100 cm

Hyojin Park Rejoice
Hyojin Park

Rejoice, 2019
Resin, vase, spray paint  60 x 60 x 80 cm

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