The worlds of fashion and art have never been far apart, and at times, they can even intersect. In Singapore, a fascinating example of fashion and art forces working in tandem can be found at Hermès’ Orchard Road boutique, as the French contemporary artist Le Gentil Garçon displays a new installation, entitled “Smart Objects.” On view until the end of June, the captivating window display is the artist’s playful exploration into the inner workings of the human mind. In the store’s main window, a gigantic profile of a human head stands tall. Inspired by phrenology, a long-repudiated field of medical study where the shape of the skull was said to influence character traits, the carved head is divided into cells. In each cutout, an Hermès object is presented. The work also draws heavily from concepts put forth by the German doctor and popular science writer Fritz Kahn, who pioneered the use of infographics to simplify complex ideas. “Hermès products often hide very smart and fun tricks that you won’t discover at first glance (a detail on the back of a tie, a clever clasp mechanism on a bag…) We can say that they are smart objects, they’re the expression of a certain sense of both elegance and intelligence,” explained the artist, also known as Julien Amouroux, who has used the pseudonym which means “the nice guy” since 1998. He practices art that is informed by mathematical and scientific concepts, whether in the form of drawing, sculpture, installation, video, animation, and more. 541 Orchard Road, Liat Towers, Singapore; legentilgarcon.com; hermes.com.
STORE FRONT Clockwise from top: A close-up view of “Smart Objects” and the head cutouts; the hermes façade on Orchard Road; artist Julien Amouroux, as his alter ego, Le Gentil Garçon.