AIRING INTIMATE LAUNDRY IN PUBLIC
Xu Daini, the founder of an online lingerie shop, organizes a unique art exhibition featuring pieces fashioned from old underwear donated by the public
Having received 5,012 pieces of used lingerie from the 34 provinces and cities in China as part of a recycling project, Xu Daini, founder and CEO of O2bra.com, decided that she would showcase them in a one-of-a-kind exhibition in Shanghai.
After about three months of preparations, which included working with local artists and designers to tear apart the lingerie before refashioning them into art works, Xu launched the two-week exhibition on Mar 7, a day before International Women’s Day, in an 800-squaremeter space atop one of the city’s century-old dock warehouses along the Huangpu River.
One of the nine art works on show involved using hundreds of bra straps to form the shape of cardiograph readings while another saw one thousand foam pads used to create a dozen clouds named Memory Turbulence.
Although Shanghai has its fair share of lingerie shows every year, including the Shanghai Mode Lingerie event that has taken place annually since 2004, and the flamboyant Victoria’s Secret showcase which was broadcast online in China since last year, this is probably the first time that Chinese women have permitted their personal collections to be displayed in public.
“It’s an underwear chronicle of our generation. This exhibition is not about these worn-out or out-of-fashion bras. It’s all about the stories, the emotions and the memories behind these intimate pieces,” said Xu.
Reception for the exhibition has been overwhelming. More than 300 visitors packed the exhibition hall ahead of the opening ceremony and hundreds of tickets, priced at 20 yuan ($3) each, were snapped up even before the event. Xu said that all the money generated by ticket sales will be donated to a charity foundation that helps women with breast diseases.
Xu’s recycling initiative started in December 2015 as she wanted to learn more about the history and habits of her customers. Her call for donations was met with 1,453 parcels, many of which came with handwritten letters explaining why owners did not want their lingerie any more.
Xu classified the reasons into three types: the first piece of lingerie bought by mothers, the gift from an ex-boyfriend, and the ones that
The MemoryTurbulence artwork is made up of hundreds of bra paddings.
Xu Daini, the founder of O2bra.com
The artwork titled BestTasteBefore: